December 2015 Archives

zika-virus.jpgSAO PAULO, Brazil - A little-known virus spread by mosquitoes is causing one of the most alarming health crises to hit Brazil in decades, officials here warn: thousands of cases of brain damage, in which babies are born with unusually small heads.

Many pregnant women across Brazil are in a panic. The government, under withering criticism for not acting sooner, is urging them to take every precaution to avoid mosquito bites. One official even suggested that women living in areas where mosquitoes are especially prevalent postpone having children.

"If she can wait, then she should," said Claudio Maierovitch, director of the department of surveillance of communicable diseases at Brazil's health ministry.

The alarm stems from a huge surge in babies with microcephaly (my-kroh-SEF-uh-lee), a rare, incurable condition in which their heads are abnormally small. Brazilian officials have registered at least 2,782 cases this year, compared with just 147 in 2014 and 167 the year before.

A woman in Brazil holds her daughter, who was born with microcephaly. An increase in the disease - a form of brain damage - has been blamed on the Zika virus.Global Health: Zika Virus, a Mosquito-Borne Infection, May Threaten Brazil's NewbornsDEC. 28, 2015

At least 40 of the infants have recently died, and some Brazilian researchers warn that cases could multiply in the months ahead. Those babies who survive may face impaired intellectual development for the rest of their lives.

Brazilian researchers say that an obscure mosquito-borne virus that made its way to the country only recently - Zika - is to blame for the sudden increase in brain damage among infants.

But other virologists caution that more testing is needed to prove the dangerous link between the virus and brain damage, leaving the full extent of the threat to the country, and the hemisphere, unclear.

"Why this may have happened in Brazil and not elsewhere is at this stage difficult to answer," said Alain Kohl, a virologist at the University of Glasgow who studies Zika.

"Perhaps it was never properly registered in other areas, or the situation in Brazil is indeed different," he added, citing the possibility that the link between Zika and microcephaly could be related to particular strains of the virus.

The Zika virus has already reached several countries in Latin America, including Mexico, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that it could spread in parts of the United States as well. There have already been cases diagnosed in the United States, in travelers who visited affected countries, and the C.D.C. expects these instances to increase.

"I cried for a month when I learned how God is testing us," said Gleyse Kelly da Silva, 27, a toll road attendant in the city of Recife in northeast Brazil, describing how an ultrasound exam had detected microcephaly in the seventh month of her pregnancy with her daughter, Maria Giovanna, born in October.

Just a few months earlier, Ms. da Silva had sought medical attention after experiencing some of Zika's symptoms: fever, joint pain and a red rash.

"I had never heard of Zika or microcephaly," said Ms. da Silva, the mother of three other children. "Now I just pray that my daughter can endure life with this misfortune."

No one knows precisely when the Zika virus made the leap to Brazil from its place of origin in Africa. Some researchers say it could have arrived during the 2014 World Cup, when Brazil welcomed travelers from around the globe. Others think the virus may have come during a canoe race weeks later, when paddlers from French Polynesia, the site of a recent Zika outbreak, arrived in Rio de Janeiro.

Researchers, alert to the rapid increase in cases, say that Zika's spread to Brazil reflects how easily viruses are jumping from one part of the planet to another.

They are particularly worried that the disease is wreaking havoc in a region where the population has not encountered it before, and that climate change may be allowing viruses like Zika to thrive in new domains.

The Brazilian government has stopped short of officially advising women not to get pregnant, but confusion and fear are spreading along with the virus.

"The situation is incredibly frightening," said Andreza Mireli Silva, 22, a worker in a shoe factory in Sergipe State in northeast Brazil who is seven months pregnant. She said she was trying to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long pants despite the heat of the Southern Hemisphere summer and applying insect repellent every three hours.

Zika, named for the forest in Uganda where scientists discovered it in the 1940s, often goes unnoticed in the people it infects and was not considered especially life-threatening before spreading to Brazil.





Bill Cosby charged in sexual assault case

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cosby-charged.jpgThe authorities in Pennsylvania announced criminal charges on Wednesday against the entertainer Bill Cosby stemming from a woman's accusation that he drugged and sexually abused her at his home in a suburb north of Philadelphia, in 2004.

Kevin Steele, Montgomery County's district attorney-elect, said that Mr. Cosby faces a felony charge of aggravated indecent assault. He said the investigation involved a "relationship" between Mr. Cosby and the woman, Andrea Constand, that came about from her work with the basketball team at Temple University, Mr. Cosby's alma mater.

Mr. Cosby became a "mentor" and "friend" to Ms. Constand, Mr. Steele said, and at one point she went to his home in Cheltenham Township. According to the accusations, Mr. Cosby urged her to take pills and drink wine until she was unable to move, after which he committed the assault.

"The evidence is strong and sufficient to proceed," Mr. Steele said. He added: "A person in that state cannot give consent."

The criminal charges come after a year of tumult in his career as dozens of women came forward to accuse Mr. Cosby, who was once revered as a father figure and popular moralist, of sexually abusing them. Many of those women on Wednesday cheered the decision to prosecute him.

The entertainer, who has long denied the charges and had never before been criminally charged, had only recently spoken of how he had been harmed by the accusations as universities and even Disney World retracted honors they had bestowed on him.





Gully Bop says Chin holds on to his passport

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gully-bop-and-shauna-chin-kissing.jpgAs the drama continues with Gully Bop and his former lover and manager Shauna Chin, Bop Chin has taken away his passpaort.

Gully Bop tells a radio station in an interview that he is grounded.

His new manager and PR Karl Durrant has intervened and is making some headway in retrieving the document from Chin.

Chin, however, has so far refused to comment on that particular issue.

Gully Bop and Shauna Chin'have had a nasty and very public split of their fairytale romance, which many had predicted would not last.





gully-bop-head-injury-shauna-chin-cheating-fight.jpgA video circulating on social media, shows an angry Gully Bop pointing towards a car while inside the vehicle Shauna Chin screams.

"People, Lord Jesus help mi! Di man a get mad pon mi," Chin shouts.

In the video Gully Bop is seen walking around the car as if trying to get in while the woman screams for someone to open the gate and allow to her leave.

"Open di gate nuh, open di gate! Oonu ago mek di man kill mi in yah?"

But Gully Bop tells a different story in another viral video. With his face covered with what seemed like blood, he relates how Chin cheated on him and attempted to fight him when caught.

"Chin have man inna me house, inna me house. Chin wait till late fi bring dem inna mi house," Bop says.

"She hide behind the door, knock me out with a padlock and buss up di whole a me face," he says in explaining the condition of his face.

"A Chin do this. Me deh a show and Chin have man inna me house. She wait till late and bring them in a me house. Me go the house, she hide behind the door, knock me out with a padlock, and buss up the whole a me head," he stated.

He also alleges that Chin has been scamming his money and that they have been separated for more than three months. The deejay claims that Chin has been unfaithful in their relationship and locked him out of his house.

Chin, however, has staunchly denied this, saying instead that Bop has been physically abusing her for months, and that he has a drug problem.

"Bop is a liar. I am no longer his fiancee. We done. Bop vex because me catch him a try take out the TV out of the house fi sell it. A di same thing him do wid the sound box. Me cudda never carry man inna the house weh me and Bop live inna. Me a nuh idiot. Gully Bop, how you fi bruk inna you own house and thief the things?" she stated.

"Him a bruk inna him owna house, fi tief out di tings dem, fi sell fi buy coke," she says.

However, according to Bop, "One week now mi nuh guh inna mi house.She have... man inna mi house! She feel seh mi deh a Mandeville but she neva know mi come up last night."

"She busted, Shauna Chin busted," Gully Bop continued. "Have man inna mi house. Man all have mi clothes weh mi buy a England."

However, Chin said in an interview with Zip fm today that Gully Bop thinks she is involved with everyone she talks to.

Gully Bop also denied claims that he was breaking into the house to take anything, but merely wanted the keys to his house from Chin.

According to the deejay, everything inside the house belongs to him and he has no need to steal anything.

Bop has also denied retaliating at any point during the altercation, and stated that Chin fabricated the story about him trying to harm her in an attempt to further her career as an artiste.

The deejay also said that he is in no way associated with Chin at this point.

To be continued.....





crime-scene-7.jpgThe St James Cop, who shot and killed the mother of his child on Christmas Day, is expected to be charged with murder.

This follows, a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn.

The Constable is attached, to the St James Police Division.

Head of the St James Police, Senior Superintendent, Steve Mcgregor, says the charge should be laid against the cop, following which he will appear in court.

Meanwhile, Commander for Area One, A-P Winchroy Budhoo, has expressed concern over the incident, which led to the police officer shooting his child's mother.





Jamaicans are being warned against importing water guns, tasers or stun guns, army fatigues or camouflage clothing, and items used to conduct obeah or witchcraft.

The director of the Contraband Enforcement Team at the Jamaica Custom Agency, Albert Anderson, is reminding consumers that these items are strictly prohibited and anyone found with them can be subjected to legal action.

He is urging Jamaicans to educate themselves about items barred from entering the island and those which require a permit for importation.

Anderson was speaking on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM.





Do not use black mosquito destroyer!

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black-mosquito-destroyer.jpgDirector of the Contraband Enforcement Team at the Jamaica Custom Agency, Albert Anderson, is warning the public against purchasing the black mosquito destroyers, and all others that are counterfeit as these are harmful.

Many Jamaicans have been taking steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites especially as the country heightens surveillance for the deadly Zika Virus, spread by an infected aedes aegypti mosquito.

However, he says the Contraband Enforcement Team has been on a drive to intercept shipments of counterfeit products like the black mosquito destroyer and remove any that may be on the local market.





JUTC driver shot dead

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crime-scene-7.jpgA Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus driver has died after being shot in August Town, St Andrew Tuesday night.

The Gleaner Online understands that the driver, whose identity has not yet been released, died at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

A police source says he was shot by gunmen who boarded the number 72 bus he was driving and demanded money.

It's reported that the driver was shot after he refused to hand over the money.

The police believe the killers then took the money as none was found on the bus.

According to police investigators, this is the second JUTC bus to be robbed in August Town in 24 hours.

In the first incident, however, the driver turned over the money and was not harmed.





Cops appeal for info in murder of JUTC driver

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jutc-bus.jpgThe police have issued an appeal for anyone with information on Tuesday night's murder of a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) driver to come forward.

Fifty-one-year-old Albert Barnes of 3 East, Greater Portmore, St Catherine was shot by gunmen around 9:05 last night after he reportedly refused their demand for money.

The Half-Way Tree Police say Barnes who received a gunshot wound to his chest died while being treated at hospital.

The police say anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has any information that can help the police should contact the Half-Way Tree Police at 926- 8184 or 926-2551, Crime Stop at 811, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





Did she or didn't she? Did he or didn't he? and if she did, who is really surprised?

Dancehall sensation Gully Bop and his fiancee Shauna Chin refused to let the year 2015 end without the required high drama from them.

In a classic he said/she said, Bop is accusing Chin of bringing man into his house and beating him up with a padlock when he caught them together; while Chin is accusing Bop of physical abuse, lying and drug abuse.

SIGH! What a quality mix up. And they have both been making videos and posting on the Internet. Chin is seen in her video screaming "People, Lord Jesus help mi! Di man a get mad pon mi," while Bop, in his featured film rants: "Chin have man inna me house, inna me house. Chin wait till late fi bring dem inna mi house. She hide behind the door, knock me out with a padlock and buss up di whole a me face,".

Bop says he and Chin have been separated for three month, Chin says that's a lie, as it was only on Sunday that they were out together.

However, she did say that: "Bop have a man a farin a boost him up fi diss me. Him all have woman a call me and disrespect me. She a tell me say she take me man and a she have him now. A long time Gully Bop a beat me up and me nuh tell nobody because me love him.

"Bop need fi face reality and stop be a hypocrite. Him a walk and owe people money and a dem a come to me bout it. I am 25 years old and Bop is 51.

"If me did want bad, me cudda bad. Him a beat me and me still stick with him because him a come from nothing to something," she said.

Though she has confirmed that they have parted ways, Chin says she would still be willing to give him a helping hand with his career if he so desires.

"He needs to go to rehab. He has a drug problem and he loves the drugs more than me. He needs to get his act together.

shaun-chin-eye-patch.jpg





gully-bop-and-shauna-chin-fight.jpgBwoy, no show no nice so!

A wha do dem artiste een man. Bounty Killer did use a hamma fi beat fi him girl-friend and now aspiring artiste Shauna Chin use padlock fi beat up her man.

Poor Gully Bop say Chin neva mek fun fi use di padlock fi beat him inna him head.

If oonu ever see the video! Mi seh, Bop Bop Bop look battered and bruised so till. You woulda neva believe say is a padlock Chin use fi do him so. Den suppose Chin did borrow Bounty hamma? A wha woulda happen to Bop.

Bounty, we ah beg yuh. Duh. No lend Chin yuh hamma.





9 year-old Reanna Dawson missing from Olympic Way

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missing-girl-reanna-dawson.jpgThe police have activated a High Alert for nine-year-old Reanna Dawson of Olympic Way, Kingston 11 who has been missing since Sunday.

She is of fair complexion and slim build.

Reports from the Olympic Gardens Police are that Reanna was last seen in her community about 2:00 pm dressed in a pink-and-white striped blouse, blue pants and pair of black slippers. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Reanna is being asked to contact the Olympic Garden Police at 923-5468, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





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george-william-gordon.jpgPrime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has hailed the contribution of National HeroGeorge William Gordon, to Jamaica's development as an independent nation.

She noted that as an elected member of Jamaica's House of Assembly during the 1800s, Mr. Gordon advocated resistance to the oppressive governance regime of the day, and lobbied the support of his peers to create greater opportunities for participation in the electoral process by the disenfranchised.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said consequent on these events, "we (now) must cherish the right to vote, and ensure that the elections are free and fair, and free from fair."

The Prime Minister also recounted stories of Mr. Gordon's contribution to the establishment of Christianity in Jamaica, which she said indicated that "wherever he established a business, he erected a church building."

She was speaking a special commemorative service marking the 200th anniversary of the National Hero's birth, at Boulevard Baptist Church, in Kingston, on Sunday, December 27.

Born to a wealthy planter, Joseph Gordon, and his slave, Ann Rattray, in 1815, George William Gordon was elected to the House of Assembly in 1844, as the Representative for St. Thomas.

His advocacy of resistance against the oppressive government at the time led to his arrest as an alleged instigator in the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865.

Mr. Gordon was illegally tried by a Court Martial, found guilty on what was deemed insufficient evidence, and sentenced to death. He was subsequently executed in October 1865.

In noting that the National Hero's resoluteness has redounded to Jamaica benefit, Mrs. Simpson encouraged persons across the society to follow his example by making positive contributions to national development.

"We have come a far way since then, and we should ensure that the Charter of the Fundamental Rights 2011 is upheld based on equality of all and justice for all. Gordon has left a rich legacy as legislator, business man, and church leader. He should be emulated and remembered," Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional Amendment) Act, 2011, accords certain entitlements to all Jamaican citizens.

These include the right to: life, liberty and security; freedom of thought, conscience, belief and observance of political doctrines; and freedom of expression; the right to seek, receive, distribute or disseminate information, opinions; and the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of (i) being male or female; (ii) race, place of origin, social class, colour, religion or political opinions, among other provisions.

Jamaica's Parliament Building is named in honour of the Rt. Excellent George William Gordon.





Official Funeral for Bishop de Souza

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bishop-neville-desouza.jpgThe Government of Jamaica will accord an official funeral to the late former Bishop of the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Dr. Neville Wordsworth de Souza, OJ.

The Funeral Service will take place at the St. Andrew Parish Church, 6 Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10 on Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 11:00 am. The service will be preceded by musical tributes commencing at 10:00 am. Interment follows at the church cemetery.

The 4th Jamaican to lead the local church, Bishop de Souza was ordained a Deacon in 1958 and became a priest in 1959. He was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Montego Bay in 1973 and was enthroned as Diocesan Bishop in 1979. He guided the ministry of the Church for 21 years until his retirement in 2000.

Bishop de Souza died on December 12.





Patrons to pay more to enter Reach Falls In Portland

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reach-falls-portland-jamaica.jpgCome January 1, patrons will have to pay up to 200 dollars more to access to the popular Reach Falls in Portland.

The Urban Development Corporation, UDC, which operates the attraction, announced the rate increases in a newspaper advertisement yesterday.

The adult entry fee will move from 300 dollars to 500 dollars, while the cost for children will move from 150 dollars to 250 dollars.

The UDC says the current entrance fees have been in place since 2007.

It further said despite attempts to avoid a hike, operating and maintenance costs have increased overtime.

The UDC says it will not compromise on quality.

Thousands of Jamaicans flock to the Reach Falls each year, especially on major holidays.





Flow to increase Internet rates

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fly-jamaica.jpgFlow Jamaica's customers are to pay more to access the Internet come next year, as the company has announced new prices.

Customers will see their bills going up by between 274 dollars and 599 dollars.

The new rates take effect on February 1, 2016.

Flow says it has had to make adjustments to the rates in light of improvements to its Internet infrastructure to deliver a better service to customers.





downsound-josef-bogdanovich.jpgDownsound Records(DSR) has kicked 'its former marketer Contractor to the curb and he is not taking it lying down.

In a press release sent to the media DSR rstated: "This is to advise the public that Sean "Contractor" Edwards is no longer associated with DownSound Records Limited and is not authorized to transact any business on its behalf."

Well, Contractor has reesponded. In a radio interview he stated the folowing:

"Well, you know, Downsound Records is basically a non-profit organisation and by that I mean that the two artistes that are left do not generate profit for the company and the company is funded out of Mr. Bogdanovich's pockets.

And therefore they have some marketing strategy where they use tabloid stories you know such as ...who the artiste is pregnant for, who the artiste is sleeping with... and Contractor's marketing is all about making hits and impacting the international market andthis caused a problem where it is said that Contractor as the marketing company is outhadowing the artistes... and as such Contractor's Marketing and Downsound Records have parted ways





lady-saw-photos-5.jpgThe Danchall Queen, Lady Saw made headlines last week when she renounced all things lewd in favour of following Christ. She also apologised to her former dancehall rivals, inclding Spice, and noted that she was no longer allowing Satan to use her.

It seems that Spice is missing her verbal sparring with Lady Saw and decided to lash out at some dancers, inclding the talented and popular Renee 6:30. In a nasty war of words on social media, Spice engaged in a heated battle with the dancers.

The saga escalated subsequent a lengthy post by Spice on her Instagram page in which she made some undesirable comments about dancer Rennee 6:30, Dancehall queens Nickeisha and Sher.

The dancers have since retaliated and have made some disparaging comments about Spice.

Meanwhile, Spice has since deleted the post and apologized to her fans.





Earthquake rocks 3 Eastern Caribbean islands

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 rocked the islands of Martinique, St Lucia and Dominica early Monday morning.

The Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies reported that the quake that occurred at a 2:55 am, had a depth of 147 kilometres. It was located nine kilometres northwest of Fort de France, Martinique.

There was no report of damage or injuries.





New airline service between China-Cuba

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The first direct flight between China and Cuba took off on Sunday from Beijing International Airport.

State-owned carrier Air China is aiming to promote Chinese tourism in the Caribbean and Latin America.

It's the first direct route linking China, the world's second-largest economy, and the Caribbean. It is also the first route between the Asian nation and Latin America, operated by an Asian airline. Flights from China to Mexico and Brazil are currently operated by foreign carriers.

The new service is expected to boost tourism between China and Cuba, as well as travel from the Asian nation to all of Latin America, a region that is rarely visited by the growing number of Chinese tourists.





fly-jamaica.jpgThe management of Fly Jamaica airways appears to be heading into a stormy cloud with its Jamaica based staff.

The Jamaicans have not been given their salaries even though their Guyanese counterparts were paid from as far back as December 15.RJR News understands that the staff based in Jamaica had lobbied strongly for salaries to be paid at the same time as their Guyanese counterparts, but the effort was unsuccessful.

Subsequent to that effort, salaries were promised on Monday but the staff left without compensation as the airline told them it could not pay due to what it called unforeseen circumstances.

The Jamaican based staff is unhappy and concerned about whether or not the airline's anticipation of a resolution of the matter by tomorrow will in fact be realised.

The airline is owned by Jamaican and Guyanese shareholders and had its inaugural flight from Kingston to New York in February of 2013.





Have you seen 9 year-old Reanna Dawson?

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missing-girl-reanna-dawson.jpgThe police have activated a High Alert for nine-year-old Reanna Dawson of Olympic Way, Kingston 11 who has been missing since Sunday.

She is of fair complexion and slim build.

Reports from the Olympic Gardens Police are that Reanna was last seen in her community about 2:00 pm dressed in a pink-and-white striped blouse, blue pants and pair of black slippers. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Reanna is being asked to contact the Olympic Garden Police at 923-5468, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





Zika virus in Martinique

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zika-virus.jpgMartinque is the latest country in the region to confirm reports of the autochthonous or local transmission of the mosquito borne Zika virus.

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), says the French speaking Caribbean nation is the 11th country in the Americas to report the virus this year and the 12th to report local transmission.

According to Dr Joy St. John, Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) "In the last decade, the Caribbean has been wrestling with wave after wave of vector borne diseases. During the last two years the region has seen unrelenting outbreaks of Chikungunya, and more recently Zika."

Last month , CARPHA confirmed that presence of five cases of the mosquito borne Zika virus in Suriname.

Symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.

The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalisation is uncommon.

In addition to Martinique, other countries confirming the presence of the virus are Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are investigating the circumstances under which an eight year old girl, shot and killed herself.

She has been identified at Gabriel Ricketts, from Galina, St Mary.

It's reported that she was playing with her father's licensed firearm at home on Sunday morning when the gun went off accidentally and she was shot.

Gabriel was pronounced dead at the Port Maria Hospital.





prosecutor-jason-alliman.jpgProsecutor Jason Alliman who was involved in a car crash almost three weeks ago died early Sunday at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.

Alliman, who was a prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, crashed on December 7 in Orange Bay, Hanover, when his car skidded on a wet surface.

He suffered head injuries and had to undergo surgery.

His family had launched a crowd funding appeal on GoFundMe to raise money to pay his medical expenses.Since his death, condolences have been outpouring on social media sites.

Meanwhile, tribute have been pourig in on social media for the brilliant young man, who was seen as an excellent and gifted role model.





A classic Sting 2015 at Jamworld Boxing Day

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Veteran Dancehall Act Tiger At Sting2015
- Nuh Wanga Gut Singer

Sting 2015, held on Boxing Day at Jamworld, stood strong with stellar performances from veteran reggae and dancehall recording artistes.

Veteran singer, Half Pint, was phenomenal on stage with timeless anthems such as: " Greetings," "Level The Vibes," "Mr. Landlord" and "Hold On." The incident free event also witnessed a memorable show from the Bandelero, Pinchers, Tiger, Lady G, Terror Fabulous, and Courtney Melody. The seasoned acts were united with prolific tune-for-tune segments that rocked the crowd.

By midnight the hash tag #Sting2015 was a trending topic on Twitter and Instagram internationally. The organizers of the event, Supreme Promotions continue to revel in the success of staging one of the longest running festivals in the world. Sting 2015, being a globally recognized brand, included Reggae and Dancehall representative from other nations that celebrate the genre, Japan (Ackee n Slatfish), South Africa (Black Dillinger), United Kingdom (Don Andre, Spookie, Flex PD) and Austria (Miss Str8 + Jami Dread) among others.

raine-seville-and-austrian-artiste.jpgRaine Seville and Miss Str8 (Austria) both did good sets at Sting 2015.

Notable performances came from rising contemporary act, Jahmiel, Professor Nuts, Turbulence, General B, Frisco Kid, Silva Cat, Junior Demus, Maestro Don Mr Lexx, Tabeta Cshae and Raine Seville among many others. Endorsed by Lady Saw to be one of the next leaders of dancehall is Starface, who was the final act to perform at Sting 2015, based on time constraints and the police being furious with the use of profanity.

According to CEO, Isaiah Laing, "Sting2015 from then till now was a hundred percent incident free and I am grateful for that. Majority of the veteran acts billed for the event performed. We would have loved more time; unfortunately the police decided to end the show prematurely. Over the past thirty-one years, they have always granted us additional time and have been cooperative. We made every effort to encourage an early turn out, especially with the gate prizes of free motorbikes being given away every hour. We will work closer with the artists and their managers to control their time and language on stage, to ensure everyone gets their turn to perform.

He continued, "We can now say that the end time for the show will not exceed 6:30AM. We must respect the law, therefore the patrons, performers and us the promoters, will have to make the adjustment to presenting earlier that we can enjoy everything before 6:30 in the morning."

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Starface - The final act to perform at STING 2015.





donkey-cartel-mall-shooting.jpgDaquan Antonio Westbrook, a rapper with an extensive arrest record, has been identified as the man killed in an officer-involved shooting inside the crowded Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Christmas Eve.

Westbrook, 18, also goes by the name Donkey Cartel.

He reportedly got into an argument with a group of men at a store inside the mall, and stormed out pulling out a gun from inside his pants - a moment one shopper managed to get a photo of in the middle of the terrifying incident. Once he left the store at least one off-duty officer rushed to the scene and told him to drop his weapon.

Once he left the store at least one off-duty officer, Thomas Ferguson, rushed to the scene and told him to drop his weapon.

When he allegedly refused to do so and then pointed his gun at Ferguson, he and possibly other officers on the scene opened fire, killing Westbrook.

It is still unclear if Westbrook ever fired his gun and how many officers opened fire on the teenager.

Westbrook released a mixtape titled "Convicted Felon With a Weapon," the cover of which shows him in a prison cell wearing an orange jumpsuit and making hand signs.According to the New York Daily News, one of his songs was called "Can't Be Touched."

"Westbrook's friend at the scene told reporters he was going to be a new father. He had just graduated high school in 2014, according to his Twitter," the Daily News wrote.

But according to several Charlotte news outlets, Mr. Westbrook had a lengthy history of run-ins with the police, his record including at least 11 arrests since 2013, one of them related to the shooting of a 12-year-old boy.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the most recent arrests were in October and "were related to drugs, larceny and resisting arrest."

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Grammy nomination for Luciano's Zion Awake

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Following his previous 2002 Grammy nomination for A New Day, reggae royalty Luciano receives the prestigious nod again this year for his latest album

Zion Awake, released by JamStyle Records via VPAL Music, VP Records' distribution arm.

The inspirational songwriter, brilliant singer and international ambassador of Jamaican

Reggae, was born Jepther W. McClymont in Davey Town, near Mandeville in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica. Luciano is constantly working to advance and preserve roots and culture of the genre and maintains the integrity of the music by expressing spirituality and conscientiousness with sincerity. He remains a leader among the next generation Reggae artists who've held fast to the music's original intentions.

Zion Awake is the perfect example of his steadfast mission to spread the message. The album is produced by Homer Harris, the man crucial to the entry of both Luciano and Sizzla to the reggae scene back in the eighties.

Standouts include "Melody" (a song mixing lyrics of Barry Manilow's "Mandy" and The Beatles "Yesterday," the instant classic "Prophecy," "Slavery" and the stellar rendition featuring Lutan Fyah of the Abyssinians' classic "Satta-Mass-Gana."





Disc jock and promoter DJ Sammy is dead

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dj-sammy.jpgPopular promoter and disc jockey Lando "DJ Sammy" Brissett died in the Cornwall Regional Hospital, on Christmas Eve, four days after he was shot while at a dance in Anchovy, St. James.

Brissett, who also managed a western Jamaica dance group known as Energy Girls, was attending a party at York Bush in Anchovy on Sunday December 20.

While at the venue, loud explosions were heard and Brissett was later discovered suffering from gunshot wounds.

The promoter was rushed to the hospital where he was admitted in critical condition.

He succumbed to the gunshot wounds last Thursday.





joss-stone.jpgBillboard Magazine named pretty blonde English singer Joss Stone's reggae album "The Best' because it sold the most copies during the year. And, by extenstion, Joss Stone has been awarded the title 'Best Reggae Singer', presumably because said album was the best seller.

My problem with Billboard is the whitewash (no pun intended). The fact is that Stone's album has proved to be the best selling in the reggae genre for 2015. However, that does not mean that it is anywhere near the best reggae album produced in 2015.

Joss Stone, who rose to fame in late 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, is undoubtedly more popular internationally than many of the reggae artises with whom she competed. Moreover, her fans are the type who actually buy CDs.

They would therefore buy a Joss Stone CD because of Joss Stone, rather than because it is a reggae CD.

Interestingly, in an article headlined "Joss Stone Falls Flat With Reggae Experiment" Stone is labelled by the Billbord writer as "a serial genre-hopper... switching from R&B to blues, funk to rock" and the Album itself is called "unconvincing", even though it is technically near flawless.

According to the writer of the Billboard article, "The songs are technically impressive, as expected from Stone, but unconvincing. She apes patois (on the bopping "Cut the Line") and even Barrington Levy's ¬signature "skippity bop" (on "Harry's Symphony") in wince-worthy fashion."

So it could be interpreted as sheer stupidity that an unconvincing reggae album on which the singer "apes patois" and is seen as "wince-worthy" is named as 'the best'. Something's isn't quite adding up here.

We echo the summation by one reader who noted: "WOW! that's a surprise or is it? A blonde lady sings a half baked album of reggae tracks with the rest of the album in standard RnB songs and wins Reggae Artiste of the Year. The genre is in a sad place.And to sweeten the pie or one might can say apply extra pain, the albums itself wins Reggae Album Of The Year."

As for me, I am only too happy that the Grammy's did not acknowledge it for a nomination. Even though a Marley, (in this case, Damion) assisted with the production and encouraged Joss Stone, who is his band-mate from the group Superheavy, to embrace reggae.





Teenager charged for illegal gun

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gun-crime.jpgThe police in St James have charged a teenager with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. The teenager of grange pen in Lilliput was arrested and charged last night.

Reports from the Barrett Town police are that about 10:40 p.m the police were on mobile patrol in the Grange Pen area, when they saw the 17 year old boy.

Upon seeing the police, he reportedly threw an object from his hand into nearby bushes. A search was conducted of the area and a Colt .45 pistol was found with eight rounds.

The teen was taken into custody, however his identity is being withheld pending further investigations. This is the third firearm and 25 rounds of ammunition seized by the Barrett Town police within the last 36 hours.





Gun, ammo seized in Hanover

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA man was arrested after a joint police/military team seized a firearm and 15 rounds of ammunition during an operation on the Long Bay main road in Hanover last weekend.

According to a news release from the police's Corporate Communications Unit, the officers stopped the driver of a Toyota Yaris motor car about 10:05 pm during a Vehicle Check Point (VCP) operation. The occupants of the motor vehicle were searched and a Glock 19 pistol, loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition, was found on one of them.

He was arrested and charged.





Police charged for killing girlfriend

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThirty-three-year-old businesswoman Terry Ann Steer of Waterside Place, Bogue Village, St James, is dead and her common-law husband - a police officer - is in police custody.

Head of the St. James Police SSP Steve McGregor says investigators are looking at the incident, as a homicide.

Reports are that on Christmas Day, the Constable went to Steer's home to visit with his one year old daughter. An argument reportedly developed between the cop and Steer, which escalated into a physical altercation.

The police man reportedly pulled his licensed firearm and shot Steer in the chest. He then fled the scene.Steer was rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

The couple's daughter, as well as Steer's 17 year old son, who were at home at the time of the incident, were not hurt.

SSP McGregor says the accused cop later turned himself over to the police and surrendered his firearm. He says the police have not listed the case as a murder, because further investigations need to be conducted into the circumstances under which the couple became embroiled in the fight.

Its alleged that Steer threw water on the officer and attacked him with an object, causing the cop to act in self defence.





Escapee's head found; cops searching for body

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The head of a man who escaped from a lock-up on December 19 has been found.

The head of 26-year-old escapee, Duran Colman of Cockpit district, Clarendon was found at Dela Vega City, Spanish Town, St Catherine today.

Reports from the Spanish Town Police are that about 6:45 a.m., residents saw the head on the train line in the community and summoned them.

The scene was processed and it was removed to the morgue.

Colman who was charged for murder escaped from the Spanish Town lock-up.

Investigators have since launched a search for the body.

In the meantime, investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, 119 or the nearest Police Station.





Suspect held in murder of Glenmuir teacher

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe Clarendon police have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a 57-year-old teacher of the Glenmuir High School in the parish.

Head of the Clarendon Police, Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, says the suspect was picked up yesterday, hours after Audley Coleman, who is also a pastor, was shot dead.

According to grieving church members, the assailants went to Coleman's house on Tuesday night and attempted to break in.

They were unsuccessful and left and returned Wednesday morning and shot and killed Coleman.

The vice-principal of Glenmuir High, Newton Knight, says the school family has been left in shock following the murder.





Will stations selling bad gas be named and shamed?

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Jamaica's Energy Ministry is contemplating whether to publicly reveal the gas stations which have been identified as selling contaminated fuel.

Julian Robinson, Minister of State in the Energy Ministry, said that there are several matters to consider before making a decision, despite the public outcry over the issue.

There are now calls for compensation, and for the gas stations to be named publicly and face sanctions. Mr Robinson is insisting, however, that proper procedures must be followed.

"We are obviously committed to ensuring that there's integrity in the process, but we also have to be careful that we don't put out information that becomes prejudicial to the business interests of a station," he said.

Once the results of the tests being carried out have been confirmed, "we will engage with the stakeholders and determine the best way forward, which protects the interests, first and foremost of the consumers," he added.

He cautioned there could be instances in which a service station has contaminated gas, but is not aware of this because it purchased the fuel from a marketing company.





Man held after millions found hidden under mattress

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jamaican-paper-money.jpgA man is in police custody, following the recovery of millions of dollars which was taken from an armoured vehicle in Manchester.

According to police reports, a large sum of money was being transported to Mandeville. When the money was delivered it was discovered that a significant amount was missing. The Mandeville Police were alerted.

Following investigations, $14 million was reportedly found hidden under a mattress in a building in St. Elizabeth.

The man, who was at the property, was taken into custody. He has been taken to Mandeville where he is to be questioned.

It is not clear whether the individual was employed to the security company which was hired to transport the money.





Boxing Day will be observed on Saturday, December 26

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The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has indicated that Boxing Day 2015 will be observed on Saturday, December 26, and not Monday, December 28.

Director of Legal Services in the Ministry, Camille Bennett-Campbell, told JIS News that according to the provisions of the Holidays (Public General) Act of 1895, by which all public holidays are governed, if a public holiday falls on a Saturday, that is the day it will be observed.

"That Act says that when Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then the 26th will be Christmas Day and the following day will be Boxing Day. It makes no provision where Boxing Day falls on a Saturday for it to be celebrated on any other day," she explained.

Mrs. Bennett-Campbell added however, that the law does make provision for Labour Day. Where it falls on a Saturday, then it will be commemorated on the following Monday.

In the meantime, the Director said workers should pay special attention to their working arrangements when asked to engage in labour during public holidays.

"If you are a minimum wage earner and you are asked to work on a public holiday, you will be entitled to double time rate. For other workers it depends on what is in your collective labour agreement if you are unionized or what is in your employment contract," she said.





Blood Bank makes urgent appeal for donations

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blood.jpgThere is an urgent appeal from the Jamaican health authorities for blood donations.

According to the Ministry of Health, the National Blood Transfusion Service continues to experience low volumes of blood in storage.

Health Minister Horace Dalley on Wednesday said violence and injuries, such as those caused by motor vehicle crashes, continue to place a heavy burden on the health system and place a high demand on the blood supply.

He added that blood is also needed to treat cancer patients, persons with bleeding disorders, chronic anaemia, and is even required to save the lives of some pregnant women.





Soldiers join police in search for cop killers

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Members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) have joined the police in the search for the men behind Tuesday's murder of two members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

A senior investigator confirmed that the military was deployed to the parish on Wednesday following the visit by National Security Minister, Peter Bunting and Police Commissioner, Dr Carl Williams.

Police and soldiers conducted several raids in the parish on Thursday in the search for the suspects, including the ring leader, Marlon Perry otherwise called "Duppy Film".

The High Command is offering J$1 million reward for his capture.Meanwhile, the four persons detained yesterday for questioning in the case, remain behind bars.

The detainees, who are suspected members of Perry's gang, are being questioned about gang activity in the parish.

52-year-old Corporal Kenneth Davis and 35-year-old Constable Craig Palmer, were gunned down while playing dominoes in a bar in Yallahs.





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duppy-film-police-murderer.jpgA police constable, Dwight Sangster, of Ewarton in St. Catherine, has been accused of burglary in Richmond, and St. Ann has been charged for house breaking and larceny.

Sangster was charged on Christmas Eve.

According to the Head of Area 2, ACP Glenford Hudson, Constable, Sangster who is attached to the St. Catherine police, was arrested on Monday, in relation to a case of burglary in Richmond, in St. Ann.

Reports are that a house was broken-into at Richmond in St. Ann, and an item allegedly linking the accused cop to the crime scene, was found.

Following this, the constable's home in St. Catherine was raided, and a number of stolen items were allegedly discovered. The Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), is probing the matter.

Meanwhile, the police are also investigating other cases of burglary in, and out of the community.

Constable Sangster is to go before the court next Monday, December 28.

Earlier this year, another rogue cop had dressed up as a Rastaman and attempted to hold up a bank. He was caught red-handed and stripped of his disguise.





Google releases Christmas doodle

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google-christmas-doodle.jpgGoogle has released its first doodle celebrating the beginning of the Holiday Season. Tis the season! Google Doodle celebrates the first day of the Christmas Holidays 2015 with papercraft characters and other items that make up the doodle.

The doodle shows several festive characters along with items such as stars, candies, gifts and so on inspired by paper cut models and cut outs. The doodle has been designed by artist Robinson Wood. The word 'Google' has been made with characters such as a cat for 'G' , owl for 'O' and so on.

Just like every year, we can expect Google to roll out a new doodle everyday, signifying each day of the festive season. December 23 is considered the first day of the holiday season that is followed by Christmas and New Year. Last year, this time around, Google had tried to encapsulate the fun and frolic with children. The doodle was bright and colourful with a smiling reindeer and snowflakes. A simple ribbon with 'Google' imprinted on it is seen in the doodle.





Glenmuir high school teacher killed at home

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crime-scene-7.jpgA 57-year-old teacher was this morning shot and killed in Toby Heights, Clarendon.

The deceased, Audley Coleman, pastor at the Four Paths Berean Church of God and teaches geography at the Glenmuir High School was killed when men armed with guns went to his Toby Heights house and shot and killed the pastor.

According to grieving church members, the assailants went to the house last night and attempted to break in.

They were, however, unsuccessful, so they returned and shot and killed the pastor.





Cousin of arrested JLP activist charged

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe police have charged the man who was arrested last Thursday with Jamaica Labour Party activist Rameish Simpson.

On Tuesday, his cousin Richard Simpson was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Rameish and Richard Simpson will remain in jail until they face the Morant Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on January 6.

Rameish Simpson reportedly drove his Mitsubishi Pajero, in which Richard Simpson was a passenger, into the sea following a high speed chase with the police in Grants Pen, St. Thomas.

The firearm and ammunition were reportedly found in a bag in the vehicle.





police-commissioner.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams expressed outrage at the incident and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"The message I want to send to the perpetrators of this evil deed is that their act of cowardice will not intimidate the valiant men and women of the Constabulary nor will it dampen our resolve to catch them and bring them to justice," he said in a CCU release.

"You will be hunted down like no criminal has been hunted before; you will be caught and made to pay for this terrible crime.

"My solemn promise to the families of these two slain officers is that no stone will be left unturned until these murderers are found," Williams added.

The police commissioner and security minister implored the public to assist the lawmen in solving the crime.

Anyone with information that can assist the police is being asked to call the Yallahs Police at 982-5075, Crime Stop at 311, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

Meanwhile, National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, visited Yallahs where the two slain policemen resided.

Bunting held a private discussion with the mother and father of Constable Palmer as well as the widow of Corporal Davis.

In condemning the killings Bunting said the incident demonstrates the risk that the police are constantly exposed to.

He also noted that the Kingston West Division has lost another member.

Two officers assigned to the Denham Police station were killed earlier this year.

Bunting is pleading with members of the public to help the police in their investigations by providing information that may lead to the apprehension of the perpetrators.

Reports are that former Prime Minister Edward Seaga is also scheduled to visit the relatives of Corporal Davis.The policeman was a close protection officer to the former Prime Minister.





duppy-film-police-murderer.jpgThe St Thomas police are now seeking Marlon Perry otherwise called 'Duppy Film' in relation to the murder of two policemen outside a wholesale on the Poor Man's Corner main road in St Thomas Tuesday night.

Perry was listed as wanted by the St Thomas police in June of this year in connection with murders and shootings in the parish.

The police have identified the dead policemen as Corporal Kenneth Davis, who was assigned to Protective Services Division, and Constable Craig Palmer, who was assigned to the Kingston Western Division.

A release from the police's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) said the lawmen were murdered by criminals who brazenly opened gunfire at them and fled the scene.

The two policemen were ambushed while playing a game of dominoes with friends in the community, Security Minister Peter Bunting said in a statement later Wednesday morning.

"This demonstrates the risk that the police are constantly exposed to by virtue of their occupation and incidents of this nature remind us of the extremely difficult challenges facing the security forces, and the great sacrifices they continue to make in the fight to rid Jamaica of the scourge of crime and violence," Bunting said.





Lawyer Howard Letterman charged with larceny

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hands-behind-bars.jpgDetectives attached to the Counter Terrorism Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) have arrested and charged another attorney with breaches of the Larceny Act.

Howard Lettman,56, of Nevon Place, Mandeville, Manchester was charged on December 14.He was granted bail in the sum of J$500,000.

It's alleged that in 2000, a woman retained the services of Lettman in order to purchase a property.She reportedly handed over $11.6 million to acquire the property.

Lettman allegedly paid a portion of the money to the vendor but failed to pay the necessary fees resulting in the property not being transferred.

A report was made to C-TOC.

Lettman was arrested and charged with Fraudulent Conversion and is scheduled to appear before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on January 15.





Dr Raymoth Notice in critical but stable condition

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dr-raymoth-notice.jpgFormer Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr Raymoth Notice, remains in critical but stable condition in hospital after being shot yesterday by gunmen during a reported robbery at his home.

Member of Parliament, Dr Andrew Wheatley, says Dr Notice's condition has slightly improved.

However, the former Mayor remains in intensive care.

A suspect has been held in connection with the shooting.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, says the man was taken into custody on Monday afternoon and will be questioned.





Teen girl shot and killed in Tivoli

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA 16 year old girl died Tuesday afternoon after she was shot in the head in Tivoli Gardens, West Kingston.

The cops seized an illegal gun and arrested two teenagers for questioning in connection with the shooting.A third teenager is being sought.

It's reported that the mother of the teenager, left her at home to go on an errand.

When she returned shortly after 2 o'clock, she found her daughter bleeding from the head - ir was discovered that she had been shot.

The police were summoned and two boys who were in the house were detained.

The cops also found an illegal nine millimetre pistol with several rounds in the house.

The cops suspect the teenagers were playing with the illegal weapon when it discharged.





tanya-stephens-jul-21.jpgA wha tek Tanya Stephens thou eehn? Which rock of irrelevance she crawl from under and a try diss Lady Saw all because di woman give her life to God. Bwoy some people really have di devil a lead dem. Tanya, our advice to you is this:Seek God and not the devil.

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Now people, oonu listen to this, after Saw a try mek things right with God and her fellow man and apologise to Macka and Tifa and Spice, this is what Tanya Stephens post up pon Facebook Tuesday:

"Incidentally... I'm listening out for a clear and detailed apology first to Lady G and then to myself. Maybe then I'll think it's a little less laughable. A no di one weh s@#% a pass memba, a di one weh tep in deh! Jamaica, for the new year you simply must stop misdiagnosing mental illness and bad behaviour of spoilt brats."

Well, di people dem did give it to Tanya Stephens pon Facebook and even then she still neva back down. Di debble trong sah. But Father God in omnipotent.

She continued: "Apologise to the world fi born," she continued underneath the thread.

"Jus a laugh afta di eediat dem out deh weh a try defend it like dem know noten! If everybody fi start talk bout da craases deh a woulda group therapy needed and a only stadium coulda hold we! Think it nice???? Struuups," she said in response to a comment.

Tanya, clearly you are in serious need of therapy. Please get help NOW.





Was the tattoo-eye deejay really wearing contacts?

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alkaline-eyes-tattoo.jpgAnd...the quest for truth continues....and so too the PR stunts.

Alkaline has attracted quite a bit of attention from social media users after posting a picture without his controversial black eyes confirming that he never tattooed his eyeballs. Or is this picture another of his endless publicity stunts. (Which seem to be working, by the way.)

In a pic posted on the entertainer's official Instagram page, Alkaline shows off the sclera which is the white part of the eye that the deejay has hidden with black contact lenses since his musical break some two years ago.

Many social media users label the move by Alkaline a publicity stunt, others express shock at the blatant lies the entertainer told about his eyes being tattooed, while some defend the deejay.





Bring back Professor Nuts and Moshan's cars!

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professor-nuts-skyline-motorcar.jpgEntertainers Professor Nuts and Moshan have had their car stolen over this happy, loving Yuletide Seaon. Yardflex is asking the thieves to carry back the two artistes' cars and, please, don't steal anymore.

According to reports, Professor Nuts' custom-built Nissan Skyline, was stolen in Portmore last week Friday, December 18. He went to Courts in the Portmore Mall to pay a bill, when he got out, the car was missing.

The veteran dancehall artiste and judge for the popular Jamaican talent search programme, Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall, is asking the public if they have information to help him retrieve his stolen Nissan Skyline R32 motor car.

Someone reportedly spotted it in Mandeville the same Friday evening. The car also sports custom built interior with chrome rims. If seen; please contact 431-3118 or 467-9721 or the nearest police station.

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Meanwhile, dancehall artiste Moshan woke up Monday morning and stepped out of his Constant Spring house, St Andrew home only to find an empty spot where his Toyota Belta motor vehicle was usually parked.

"The man dem come inna mi yard, and drive out the car, not even the padlock on the gate mi see. The man dem all a beat mi bad because mi have on kill switch, mi have on tracker pon the car and the vehicle still vanish without a trace. The man dem a work mucky this Christmas," a disgruntled Moshan, who is known for the Social Media and Talk songs, said.





No bail for JLP activist Rameish Simpson

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st-thomas-car-sea-ramiesh-rick.jpgRameish Simpson, the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist who was charged on Monday with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, will have to remain behind bars until the new year due to the closure of the Court for the holidays.

Simpson will face the Morant Bay Resident Magistrates Court on January 6.

Simpson reportedly drove his Mitsubishi Pajero, along with a male passenger, into the sea following a high speed chase with the police in Grants Pen, St. Thomas last Thursday.

Both men were held and the vehicle pulled from the sea with the assistance of the Marine Police.

A search of the vehicle was carried out and the firearm and ammunition were reportedly found in a bag. The other man is scheduled to be questioned on Tuesday.





Jamaica on Swine Flu alert

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chief-medical-officer-bullock-ducasse.jpgIn light of the emergence of the Influenza A (H1N1), also called Swine Flu, in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica's Ministry of Health is stepping up its surveillance and monitoring for cases of the virus.

Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, Chief Medical Officer, has announced that, as part of the Ministry's surveillance system, samples from public health facilities are routinely sent for testing to the National Influenza Centre at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

H1N1 is a respiratory illness that is caused by the Influenza A virus. The symptoms include fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headache and body aches, as well as fatigue. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also be experienced.

Dr Bullock DuCasse added that it is the flu season and Jamaicans should be extra careful to prevent becoming infected and transferring infection to others.

She is reminding members of the public to observe good hygiene practices by washing their hands regularly, and covering their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.





hands-behind-bars.jpgThe man who is the suspect in the murder of 44-year-old Raymond Reynolds of Charles Drive, Bridgeport in St Catherine, was picked up by the police on Sunday, December 20.

Reports were that about 6:05 am, Reynolds was at home when he observed an intruder in his backyard. Reynolds approached the man and was stabbed in the left side of his chest.

He was pronounced dead at hospital.

While the police have not released the name of the suspect who has been held, at the time of reporting Reynolds' death, the police had listed a man known only as 'Labelle' as being a person of interest in the matter, and advised him to come in for questioning on the matter.





dr-raymoth-notice.jpgA man was taken into custody on Monday afternoon in connection with the shooting of Dr Raymoth Notice, former mayor of Spanish Town.

Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said that arrangements are being made for him to be questioned.

Dr. Notice, who was shot several times during a reported robbery on Monday morning, remains hospitalised. He underwent surgery to remove one of the bullets.

The former councillor was at his home in West Prospect, near Bog Walk, St. Catherine when two men barged in and held him up.

The men reportedly demanded money, and when the demand was not met, he was shot.





joe-bogdanovich-onstage-may-17.jpgDownsound Records officially opened its new head office and studio along Belmont Road in St Andrew on Thursday.

The Joseph Bogdanovich-led Downsound Records feted key patrons at its launch party as the red carpet-themed event featured DJ Collin Hines and Chris Dymond on the energetic turntables.

The premise, formerly Carlos Café, is still in the final stages of completion and is expected to be finished next week.

Some of patrons included Gary Matalon an investor-partner in KLE Group of which Bogdanovich is the largest individual investor, Robert Livingston, owner of Big Yaad Records and Scikron Entertainment, music broadcaster Winfred Williams of long-standing entertainment programme On Stage, as well as many others.





bill-cosby.jpgBill Cosby sued one of his most vocal accusers for defamation Monday, accusing supermodel Beverly Johnson of fabricating claims that the comedian drugged and tried to sexually assault her in the 1980s.

The lawsuit is part of a new legal strategy by Cosby to attack some of the women accusing him of sexual abuse in court. Cosby last week countersued several women accusing him of defamation, but the lawsuit against Johnson is the first time the comedian has taken legal action against a woman who hasn't sued him first.

Cosby's lawsuit accuses Johnson of lying about an incident in which she says Cosby drugged her with a cappuccino in his New York home before letting her go after she angrily rebuked his advances.

The suit contends Johnson, 63, has been using the story - first told in a Vanity Fair story and repeated in numerous interviews and a memoir - to try to rekindle her career.

Johnson's "false allegations against Mr. Cosby have been the centerpiece of her attempted resurgence and she has played them to the hilt, repeatedly and maliciously publishing the false accusations in articles, interviews, and television appearances," Cosby's lawsuit states.

It seeks unspecified damages and an injunction preventing the model from repeating her claims and requests they be removed from Johnson's memoir, which was released in August.

Cosby's lawsuit states that a dinner described by Johnson was attended by his wife and he never spent time alone with the supermodel.

Cosby's response comes in the wake of counterclaims his attorneys filed last week in a Massachusetts federal court against seven women who are suing him there for defamation. Those women contend Cosby defamed them by allowing his representatives to brand them as liars.

In the countersuit, Cosby claims the women made "malicious, opportunistic, and false and defamatory accusations" of sexual misconduct against him that are "nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to extract financial gain from him."

On Monday, a Las Vegas casting agent named Kathrine McKee sued Cosby for defamation in Massachusetts federal court. Her suit, which she self-filed, claims Cosby's former attorney defamed her by denying her allegations that the comedian raped her in a Detroit hotel room in 1974. Cosby's attorney Monique Pressley did not immediately return an email seeking comment.





miss-jamaica-world-sanneta-myrie.jpgWhile many were taken with the accidental Miss Universe announcement on Sunday, some other historical moments were happening Saturday night at the Miss World competition in Sanya, China.

Sanneta Myrie, the 24-year-old Miss World contestant from Jamaica made headlines earlier this year when she announced her plan to leave in her signature dreadlocks (also called locs) for the 2015 Miss World competition. While locs have appeared at the Miss Universe competition - Miss Jamaica, Zahra Redwood, famously wore her hair in locs to break down Rastafarian stereotypes in 2007 - Myrie was to be the first Miss World contestant to appear on stage with them.

"My life has always been rooted in the arts and culture which has significantly impacted my own personal style. So even when I select glam, it has to have an ethnic urban twist to it," she told Jamaica Observer back in August.

As promised, Myrie's hair remained in locs coiled on top of her head in a high bun for the for the duration of the competition.

While Miss Spain ended up taking the crown Saturday night, Myrie walked away with a fourth place finish to the delight of her supporters.





It's okay to 'bun a spliff' at Rebel Salute!

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ganja-smoking.jpgPatrons attending music festival, Rebel Salute, in St Ann, this year will be free to have in their possession and smoke a limited quantity of ganja at the event - slated for January 15 and 16, 2016.

The event has been granted an exemption under the Ganja Decriminalisation Act.

Justice Minister Mark Golding said all patrons will be exempt as long as they follow the conditions set out by the law.

This includes sticking to the prescribed two ounces of the weed, and extends not only to the venue, but to persons who are on their way to the festival, who will be required to demonstrate that fact.

Minister Golding said it is the second exemption application to have been reviewed by an advisory committee that has been in place since the law was passed.

The first exemption was granted to a Rastafarian festival that was held in Negril.

The Justice Minister said a protocol has been established, which the police are working with. He said it has been successful so far.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo men have been arrested in connection with the murder of 44-year-old People's National Party activist, Sadie Forbes in Newlands, St Catherine recently.

Forbes was fatally shot on December 1, days after she complained about political flags being posted at her gate.

The suspects, who are reputed to be gang members, were held last week during police operations.

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A senior investigator indicated that the police are experiencing difficulty in building a case against the suspects, as eyewitnesses to the murder have refused to come forward.

The shooting of Forbes sparked political tension in Newlands, forcing the Peace Management Initiative and the Political Ombudsman to visit the community in a bid to calm the tension at the time.





crime-scene-7.jpgA 44-year-old man was fatally stabbed at his home in Portmore, St Catherine this morning.

The Bridgeport police report that Raymond Reynolds, of Charles Drive, Bridgeport was at home when he observed an intruder in his back yard about 6:05 a.m. Reynolds reportedly accosted the man and was stabbed in the left side of his chest.

The police were summoned and he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The police believe that a man known only as Labelle can assist in their investigations and are appealing for him to turn himself in immediately.

Anyone knowing 'Labelle's' whereabouts is being asked to contact the Brideport police at 988-2697, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





Lawsuits looming from parents of dead babies

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Lawsuits have been filed against the University Hospital of the West Indies by the parents of the premature babies who died following an outbreak of infections earlier this year.

This was disclosed by Chairman of the University Hospital Board, James Moss-Solomon, at a media briefing on Monday.

He said the hospital has been contacted by attorneys representing the parents.

Nineteen premature babies died from infections contracted at the University Hospital and Cornwall Regional Hospital.

Moss-Solomon also said a decision is yet to be made about requests from parents to have their medical bills written off.

"Those matters are being addressed with the meetings of the legal representatives ... I am not in a position to say what is a resolution at this point in time. I know that discussions are ongoing, I have seen correspondence and I can assure you that it is being addressed," Moss-Solomon said.





Don't blame us for bad fuel, says Petrojam

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Petrojam, Jamaica's state-owned oil refinery, has declared that there is no link between its products and claims that contaminated fuel is being sold to the local gasoline retail trade.

An investigation was carried out after the refinery received reports from motorists last week that tainted petrol was being sold at gas stations.

Howard Mollison, General Manager of Petrojam, told RJR News on Monday morning that the company had done "a detailed analysis of all the products we had in our tank that was being shipped out."

Arising from that exsamination, he said the agency was in a position to say "with absolute certainty" that "the products that we deliver into the market are free of contamination and consistent with the standards that have been defined by our Ministry," and in keeping with international standards.

He said, however, that Petrojam could only vouch for the fuel which it imports and distributes to service stations.

"Once they leave, we no longer have custody or control over the product, and as a result of that, contamination can take place at any point in transit," he said.

Accordingly, he said individual operators "have to ensure good practices to ensure the contamination doesn't take place at their station."





Political activist to be questioned

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st-thomas-car-sea-ramiesh-rick.jpgSt Thomas political activist and his relative who were arrested on Thursday, after they tried to elude the police, are to be questioned.

It is understood that one of the accused who was driving a Toyoto Prado disobeyed signals by the police to stop, and a chase was ensued which left the vehicle being driven into the sea.

Reports are that about 10:30 a.m., the men were in the grant's pen vicinity when they were signalled to stop in a vehicular check point.

The driver disobeyed and the vehicle went into the sea at the Grants Pen fishing village. The men were taken in custody.

A search of the vehicle, with the assistance of the marine police led to the recovery of an uzi sub machine gun with 16 rounds of ammunition.

The St Thomas Police are carrying out further investigations say the men are to be questioned tomorrow.

The men will be represented by attorney-at-law Hensley Williams.





dr-raymoth-notice.jpgFormer Spanish Town mayor Dr Raymoth Notice was reportedly shot Monday morning during a robbery attempt at his home.

According to the police, Dr Notice was shot at about 8:25 am at his home in West Prospect in Bog Walk, St Catherine by persons unknown during a robbery attempt. He was shot twice, and is now being treated at the Spanish Town Hospital.

A Jamaica Labour Party member, Dr Notice lost in his bid to enter Gordon House when he was defeated in the December 2011 general election by the People's National Party candidate, Natalie Neita-Headley, for the North-Central St Catherine seat.

He is not on the present slate of JLP candidates for the upcoming General election. He has been replaced as caretaker for the North-Central St. Catherine seat by Peter Abrahams, the sitting councillor of the Bog Walk division.





A which promoter waan kill Ninjaman?

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ninjaman.jpgReallly now, which promoter tink dem mad and a send death threat to the original-gold-teet-gun-pon-teet-don-gorgon Ninjaman?

We neva hear nutten so yet. (Kiss teet times one thousand.)

People say that the promoter say that Ninjaman trying to ruin him event and so the promoter call off Ninja cellphone and a chat off him moth inna di most way..

Well, deejay, all we can tell you fi do is to make a formal report to the police before you do anything else about the matter.

Anyway, in other Ninjaman news, the dancehall artste Ninja Man is working on the Ocho Rios Festival, a two day event featuring top sound systems and live stage performances respectively to commemorate his 50th birthday celebration slated to take place on January 22 and 23.





miss-jamaica-world-sanneta-myrie.jpgMiss Jamaica World Dr Sanneta Myrie finished in the top five of the Miss World 2015 competition Saturday night in the southern Chinese island resort of Sanya and has been congratulated by Jamaica's prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller.

Spain's Mireia Lalaguna Royo was named the winner of the competition, while Sofia Nikitchuk of Russia was the runner-up and Indonesia's Maria Harfanti took third place. Myrie joined the women in the top 5 along with Lebanon's Valerie Abou Chacra.

After making the top five, Myrie was reportedly asked why she should be named Miss World 2015. Myrie reportedly answered that she was already grateful to be representing her country at the competition.

"I am so grateful. My story is one of a little girl whose life was transformed with charity and love and I want to give that back to others," Myrie is quoted as saying.

Indeed, the dreadlocked beauty has a lot to be grateful for despite not winning the pageant. She finished top five following a lengthy competition featuring 114 women. Among the highlights was her third place finish in the talent contest.

Meanwhile, the victory marked the first-ever win for a Spanish contestant.

Lalaguna is a 23-year-old model from Barcelona with a degree in pharmacology who plans to pursue a master's degree in nutrition. She placed first in the competition's top model contest and appeared to impress the judges with her public speaking.





lady-saw-at-j-capri-funeral.jpg(See full text of letter which appeared in the Gleaner newspaper)

"Since my conversion to the Christian faith earlier this week, a lot of people have suggested that I'm not genuine. But I didn't make the decision. God did.

Some people are making negative arguments that I did it to steal the limelight of dancehall artiste J Capri, whose funeral was held on Monday.

I have realised that there's a place in Heaven for me, even though I have a past that was not clean, even though I was vulgar, even though I did bad things onstage.

It took me having to go to J Capri's funeral to become a Christian. I started conversing with God in the church. The Holy Ghost 'dash' it all over me. God did a transformation in my closet.

Heaven is rejoicing for me now that I've given my heart to God. J Capri and the angels are rejoicing. I care zero about my critics.

At one point, I thought Christ was finished with me. Some people are saying I was baptised before, so it's nothing new. But I was baptised as a child; it was my dad's choice. He baptised all his children. He was a Seventh-day Adventist. By the next week, we were backsliders.

A few years ago, God was doing things for me. I got in the Spirit in Florida. I was doing so well trying to change my lifestyle. Satan rose up on me, but I wasn't strong yet.

I went on Sting that year and called out another female deejay, and I behaved so badly. When I did it, I felt dirty within myself. The devil was smiling, but God wasn't so pleased with me.

But even in that state, I begged God, "Don't let go of me. Hold on to my skirt tail. Don't give up on me."

The night before I was baptised, I was drunk having spent time at Ribbiz. But I heard a voice say, "Marion, God is not pleased with you." Before I got saved, every morning I would call a guy I'm dating. I would smoke cigarettes all day.

At J Capri's funeral, the songs performed by Cherine Anderson and Alaine were songs that had taken me through the darkest of times in my life.

After the funeral, God said to me, "Go and get baptised." But I said, "Church lock. It's Monday. But I heard the voice saying, "Go now." I called my sister, and she ran and called a church sister. I told her I wanted a fiery church. The lady called the bishop. He said normally he would have been in Red Hills, but that day, he had stopped for something. God lined up everything for me."

God is in me. He is working on me. My salvation is not a joke thing. I thought my Lord had abandoned me because I had turned my back on him. Satan is vexed right now.

God said he would take care of me. God has found use for this broken vessel. I urge others to seek God and find him. Open up your voice to be vulnerable to him.

I have been through some things. I was raped in the ghetto. If I can use my story to stand firm, I will. I am already beaten, I am already battered, so others can't defeat me. I no longer need a man to comfort me. A cigarette cannot comfort me.

This is no publicity stunt. God used J Capri to win my soul. I want to win other souls for Him. I had nothing to do with my salvation. The spirit of God came and snatched me from the devil. Why would I want to walk away from all this money from stage shows? Why would I want to walk away from all the other shows that were pending, all the advance money?

God has told me that this project will be bigger than me. God shall make me win souls for Him. I am honoured to be part of God's flock. I used to be ashamed to say His name in the crowd. But now I am proud to call His name.

Two of my female rivals were at the funeral. God said I should forgive my rivals. I forgive them and ask for their forgiveness. I love you, Spice. I love you Macka Diamond. I love you, Tifa. Forgive me if I hurt you. I let go of any animosity. We artistes were fighting for Satan. We wanted his crown. But our real crown is in Heaven for us.

What I was doing was not of God. Forget the devil and work for Jesus. Please, don't take my joy, the joy that God has put inside me."





Six Burgher Gully Gang members charged

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Six members of the East Kingston based "Burgher Gully Gang" were remanded when they appeared before the Home Circuit Court on Friday.

The six, including the gang's leader, Devon Murray, also known as "Pepsi", were charged on Thursday after months of investigation by MOCA detectives.

They are to return to court on January 14.

The men have been charged under the anti-gang legislation in connection with murders, shootings, robberies, extortion and other crimes.

Investigators say the gang has been linked to violence in East Kingston and other parts of the Corporate Area.





Medical doctor from the west charged with fraud

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A Westmoreland based medical doctor has found himself in trouble with the law after allegedly defrauding an insurance company of nearly J$5 million in a medical racket.

Detectives attached to the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC) have charged Dr Jepthroy Thompson ,36,with breaches of the Larceny Act.

Thompson, a resident of Big Bridge in the parish was charged on Wednesday.

CTOC reported that between June 2013 and October last year, Thompson submitted claims for payment to a health insurance agency stating that surgery was done on several individuals with the assistance of a particular Anaesthetist and an Assistant Surgeon.

The company paid J$4.9 million to Thompson.

Investigations revealed that the Anaesthetist and the Assistant Surgeon did not participate in any of the surgeries and were not beneficiaries of any money paid to Dr.Thompson.

A report was made to the Fraud Squad in September.

Thompson is scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on January 6 to answer charges of Obtaining Money by Means of False Pretence, Forgery, Uttering Forged Documents and Demanding Money by Means of Forged Documents.





counterfeit-cigarettes.jpgThe Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) has identified a suspect in Friday's seizure of 154 boxes of counterfeit cigarettes during an operation at an apartment in St Andrew.

The man, who is said to be of Asian descent, is being sought.

The cigarettes, which comprised mainly the Craven A and Newport brands, had a street value of J$65-million.

Deputy Commander of CTOC, Senior Superintendent Clifford Chambers, says the cigarettes are believed to be part of a large trade of counterfeit items.

"These products were found in an uptown residential community. They were in a room stacked from the floor to the ceiling, the operators knew what they were doing ....." he said.





st-thomas-car-sea-ramiesh-rick.jpgControversial St Thomas JLP supporter, Rameish Simpson, was taken into police custody on Thursday on gun and ammunition charges.

Simpson and a relative of his were arrested following high drama in the parish on Thursday morning. The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist and his sidekick are behind bars, following the seizure of a sub-machine gun in St. Thomas. They were held after a high speed chase.

It's reported that, about 10:30 on Thursday morning, the political activist, who was driving a Toyota Prado, tried to elude the police who signaled him to stop.

He drove off and was chased. The vehicle was driven onto Fish House Lane in the community and subsequently crashed into the sea in the vicinity of Grants Pen fishing beach. Both men were held.

Members of the Marine Police and the Coast Guard assisted the patrol team to remove the vehicle from the sea. A search of the vehicle reportedly resulted in the seizure of an Uzi semi-automatic rifle and 16 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Simpson, popularly known as 'Rick', and his co-accused, were expected to have been questioned on Friday in respect of the alleged gun find.

Simpson came to prominence in 2009 when he was transported to hospital by West St Thomas Member of Parliament (MP) and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) deputy leader, James Robertson, after being shot and injured by the police.

Simpson was freed of gun-related charges in relation to that encounter with the police, and in 2011, was again freed of gun and ammunition charges after a witness failed to show up in court in connection with a murder-for-hire probe that led to him being taken into police custody.

He was also freed of a carnal abuse charge in 2011.





5 prisoners escape from Spanish Town lock-up

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hands-behind-bars.jpgFive prisoners are now on the run after escaping from Spanish Town Police Station lock-up in St Catherine on Saturday morning.

They five escapees are:

  • Akeem Hall, 18, of Beverly Flats, Newlands, Portmore, St Catherine, who was charged with robbery with aggravation.
  • Andre Siddon, 19, of Lindel Close, Fraser's Content, Spanish Town, St Catherine, who was sentenced to seven years and two years in prison, for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition and assault, respectively.
  • Duran Colman, 26, of Cockpit District, Clarendon, who was charged with murder.
  • Jevon Bashford, 20, of Big Lane in Central Village, St Catherine, who was charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition
  • Omar Bramwell, 27, of Red Church Street, Spanish Town, St Catherine

Reports from the Spanish Town Police were that during a check at the lock-up, it was discovered that the prisoners were not in their cells. It is believed that they escaped by cutting a grille.

Anyone with information that can lead to the recapture of these prisoners is being asked to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

The police are also reminding the public that it is an offence to harbour a criminal.

It's the second major jail break on the island within the last several weeks. Six prisoners escaped from the Freeport Police Station lock-up in Montego Bay, St James on November 30. Two of those prisoners have since been recaptured and one killed by cops.





Regular flights between US and Cuba to be resumed

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us-cuba-flights.jpgThe United States announced Thursday the resumption of regular flights to and from Cuba, the latest step in a historic thaw in relations.

"On December 16, the United States and Cuba reached a bilateral arrangement to establish scheduled air services between the two countries," the State Department said in a statement.

The announcement came a year to the day after presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced plans to restore full diplomatic relations after a half century of enmity rooted in the Cold War. The countries actually did so in July and have opened embassies in each other's capitals.

The aviation accord reached Wednesday brought the countries yet a bit closer to each other as they move to eliminate restrictions on trade and travel and treat each other like countries without a historic gripe.

But for now the US trade embargo on Cuba remains in place. So does a ban on Americans traveling to Cuba for the purpose of tourism, the State Department recalled in Thursday's statement.

Still, "a stronger civil aviation relationship will facilitate growth in authorized travel between our two countries," the statement said.





man-who-raised-aids-drugs-arrested.jpgA boyish-looking entrepreneur who became the new face of corporate greed when he jacked up the price of a lifesaving drug fiftyfold was led away in handcuffs by the FBI on unrelated fraud charges Thursday in a scene that left more than a few Americans positively gleeful.

Martin Shkreli, a 32-year-old former hedge fund manager and relentless self-promoter who has called himself "the world's most eligible bachelor" on Twitter, was arrested in a gray hoodie and taken into federal court in Brooklyn, where he pleaded not guilty. He was released on $5 million bail.

If convicted, he could get up to 20 years in prison. He left court without speaking to reporters. His attorneys had no immediate comment.

Online, many people took delight in his arrest, calling him a greedy, arrogant "punk" who gave capitalism a bad name and got what was coming to him. Some cracked jokes about lawyers jacking up their hourly fees 5,000 percent to defend him in his hour of need.

Prosecutors said that between 2009 and 2014, Shkreli lost some of his hedge fund investors' money through bad trades, then looted Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company where he was CEO, for $11 million to pay back his disgruntled clients.

Shkreli "engaged in multiple schemes to ensnare investors through a web of lies and deceit," U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said in a statement.

Shkreli was charged with securities fraud and conspiracy. A second defendant, lawyer Evan Greebel, of Scarsdale, New York, was charged with conspiracy and also pleaded not guilty.

In September, Shkreli was widely vilified after a drug company he founded, Turing Pharmaceuticals, spent $55 million for the U.S. rights to sell a medicine called Daraprim and promptly raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

The 62-year-old drug is the only approved treatment for toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease that mainly strikes pregnant women, cancer patients and AIDS patients.

The move sparked outrage on the presidential campaign trail and helped prompt a Capitol Hill hearing on drug prices. Headlines called the Brooklyn-born Shkreli such thing as "America's most hated man," the "drug industry's villain" and "biotech's bad boy" - and those were just some of the more printable names.

Hillary Clinton called it price-gouging and said the company's behavior was "outrageous." Donald Trump called Shkreli "a spoiled brat." Bernie Sanders returned a donation from Shkreli.





imf-christine-lagarde.jpgInternational Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has been ordered to stand trial in France over her role in a 2008 arbitration ruling that handed 400 million euros ($434 million) to French businessman Bernard Tapie.

Lagarde was French finance minister at the time. She has denied wrongdoing, and after years of investigation, a prosecutor in September argued that the case against her should be dropped.

But the Court of Justice of the Republic on Thursday announced it has decided to send her to trial. It is a special court for trials of government ministers.

Her lawyer, Yves Repiquet, said on i-Tele television that he plans to appeal the decision.





Adele US concert tickets sell out in minutes

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adele-21.jpgTickets for Adele's first concert tour of North America in five years sold out within minutes for venues on the U.S. East Coast on Thursday, leaving thousands of fans empty-handed and venting their frustration on social media.

The British singer's 56-date tour, announced earlier this week, follows record-breaking sales of 5.2 million units in the United States alone of her new album, "25."

Fans reported getting stuck for 45 minutes or more on ticketing websites, only to find that seats were sold out for major cities on the tour that starts in July in St. Paul, Minnesota and ends in Mexico City on Nov. 15.

Adele's representatives said tickets for some shows were going on sale at 10 a.m. local time in the relevant cities, but otherwise declined to comment.

Hashtags #adeletickets and #adelesoldout trended on Twitter, with fans posting memes, messages and GIFs inspired by the Grammy Award-winning singer's lyrics and music videos.

"Hello from the ticket line. I've clicked refresh a thousand times," tweeted Maggie Sage Hunter, in a twist on the lyrics to Adele's hit single "Hello."

"3 days worth of Adele tickets sold out in 2 minutes and I am heartbroken," wrote Sammi Steger.

"Just spent an hour trying to get #adeletickets in Boston and no luck...At least I can say that I tried," tweeted Jen Taranto.

Tickets for many shows appeared within minutes on secondary market sites like Stubhub, with asking prices ranging from $9,999 each for seats closest to the stage at New York's Madison Square Garden to $300 each for those in the furthest reaches of the arena. Official prices ranged from $40 to $750 each for premium packages.

Adele's "25" album is already the biggest selling album of 2015 in the United States, and has broken records dating back to 1991 when Nielsen Music first started tracking sales.

Tickets for the singer's UK and European concert tour, starting in February, also sold out within minutes when they went on sale earlier this month.





Tasha T performs with youth orchestra

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tasha-t-orchestra-photo-1.jpgRasVibe Records recording artiste,Tasha T, participated in the Brott Music Education Concert that was held at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, November 18, 2015. She performed with the National Academy Orchestra and played the role of the narrator that focused on the revered and historical story of the Underground Railroad.

tasha-t-orchestra-photo-2.jpgDuring her performance, Tasha T delivered a soul-stirring rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption song" that was a big hit with the audience. The event was produced by the highly respected Canadian music conductor Boris Brott after whom the event is named.

tasha-t-orchestra-photo-3.jpg"This was my first time performing with an orchestra; it was an amazing experience. I am truly humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be able to incorporate my style of music in a production of this nature. I'm also pleased that the students who attended the event were able to learn about the Underground Railroad. I believe that they will now have a greater understanding of some of the struggles that black people endured during slavery," said Tasha T. The Brott Music Education Concert has certainly enriched Tasha T's musical experience in 2015, which has been a fantastic and successful year.





US court finds Flippa Mafia guilty of drugs charges

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flippa-mafia.jpgPopular Jamaican entertainer Flippa Mafia was on Thursday convicted in New Jersey of drug running following a seven-week trial.

US media reports say Flippa Mafia, whose given name is Andrew Davis, was unable to convince the court he was not linked to a illegal drug ring that used the U.S postal service to ship cocaine from California to New Jersey.

Flippa Mafia was found guilty of drug distribution charges.

New Jersey prosecutors say he ran the drug operation along with his brother Kemar Davis, who resided in California. Davis pleaded guilty in September and another sibling Roger Davis, pleaded guilty to drug possession charges.

Investigators say Flippa Mafia was the mastermind behind the drug ring which had extended its links to Jamaica and he directed Davis and others to ship cocaine from California to New Jersey.

The cocaine was then distributed to dealers.





The case involving a teacher accused of using a PVC pipe to beat a 13 year old student at the Melrose Primary and Junior High School has been sent to mediation.

The decision was made on Thursday when the parties appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court.

Last week, the teacher, Rohan Treliven, was charged with assault.

It's alleged that last month, he hit the student with the pipe - wounding her.The child also alleged that she was dragged on the floor during the incident.

Treliven, who has denied the allegations, will return to court on February 1, next year, when a decision will be made whether the matter will proceed to trial.





Zika virus coming to Jamaica says health minister

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zika-virus.jpgHealth Minister Horace Dalley has warned that the disease is likely to reach the island sooner than later.

Minister Dally, who gave an address at a Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) breakfast event on Thursday, acknowledged that the Ministry of Health does not have the adequate resources to better equip the nation against vector control.

"I am saying to Jamaica: be prepared for the Zika Virus - it will come," said Minister Dalley.

horace-dalley-health-minister.jpg

"I'm going to be very frank, we don't have enough fogging machines to fog every single community in Jamaica," Dalley contended.

Already, the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has confirmed the mosquito-borne disease in multiple countries including Brazil, Chile (Easter Island), Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

In the meantime, the minister used the opportunity to urge the public to be proactive to the seemingly imminent arrival of the latest mosquito outbreak.

"We as citizens must take the [necessary] precaution[s]. The impact of Chik-V was tremendous last year...let us not go there [again]," he added.

"We will do what we have to do in the central ministry, but we have this personal responsibility that we must ensure we are a part of," noted Minister Dalley.





53 deportees arrive in Jamaica from the US

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A total of 25 deportees - 51 men and two women - arrived Thursday morning at the Norman Manley International Airport from various locations in the United States.

The individuals served sentences for mainly drug related charges and immigration breaches.

Annually, more than one thousand deportees are sent to Jamaica, most of the offences are immigration related.





St Ann businessman Mark Perkins shot at home

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Ann businessman was critically injured when he was shot several times at his home in Walkerswood, St Ann, yesterday.

He is Mark Perkins, operator of Lyming at Walkerswood, a popular restaurant and bar along the busy thoroughfare between Ocho Rios and Moneague.

Reports are sketchy, but it is believed that Perkins was at home sometime around 1 p.m. when shots were heard.

Upon investigations, he was discovered with several bullet wounds to the body. He was rushed to hospital where he was admitted. His condition is believed to be critical.

The incident shocked several residents of the normally quiet community.

Opened since September 2008, Lyming at Walkerswood has become a popular restaurant and bar, favoured by Jamaicans and visitors alike for its menu of Jamaican delicacies, which includes items such as jerk chicken and pork, roast fish, puddings, boiled corn and manish water.

The St Ann police are investigating.





Murder suicide rocks Linstead

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe Linstead Police is investigating a possible murder-suicide, which has rocked the St Catherine community.

According to reports, a local security guard shot and killed the mother of his child before shooting himself after an alleged dispute around 6:15pm Thursday.

Both died on the spot.





Miss Jamaica scores well at Miss World Charity Gala

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miss-jamaica-world-sanneta-myrie-collage.jpgAfter placing third in the Miss World Talent competition earlier this week, Jamaica's contestant Dr Sanneta Myrie was again on top of the pageant proceedings.

This time Myrie scored big at the annual Miss World Charity Gala Event as the items she brought to be auctioned were among the highest bids for the night.

Myrie's items which included Usain Bolt autographed trainers, one-of-a-kind artworks and cultural emblems raked in Y50,000 ($6500 USD) and tied as the highest bid of the night. Just over Y260,000 (over $40,000) was raised through the auction as well raffle and ticket sales on the night.

One of the annual traditions of the Miss World Pageant is the Charity Gala Event, where all Miss World contestants bring with them a special gift, be it a personalized painting or a valuable token from their country, and auction it for a good cause.

All proceeds of the Charity Gala will go to benefiting the Sanya Orphanage founded by Miss World Chairwoman, Julia Morley, in 2005.

According to the Miss World Pageant's official website, the Orphanage houses and nurtures over 60 orphaned youth.





Good performance from Abby Dallas at Weddy Weddy

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One Jam Music's recording artiste Abby Dallas showed why she is most deserving of her invite to Sting 2015 when she delivered a scintillating set at the Weddy Weddy leg of the RJR Communication's Group Kingston Music Week on December 2.

The emerging star, fresh off the Welcome to Jamrock Cruise earlier in the day, started her performance with a bit of wit, assuring Stone Love's founder and Weddy Weddy host Father Pow that even if she had to jump off the ship and swim to the location, she would not have missed the opportunity to perform at this special edition of Weddy Weddy.

She eased into the musical portion of her set with her hit reggae ballad From My Heart, which she dedicated to Father Pow. The Versatile Diva then followed up From My Heart with her thought-provoking lovers rock hits He's Just Not Into You and Nuh House Mouse, before launching into her dancehall catalogue with Extraordinary (I am that Girl), which earned her another round of forwards.

On the strength of her performance at WeddyWeddy, she was invited to the Hitz 92FM Road Show in Bog Walk on December 5 by DJ Roderick Howell. She justified the Hitz Family's confidence in her ability by again delivering another outstanding performance punctuated by many genuine forwards.

The artiste credits her rising popularity in town and country to her growing comfort and confidence that enable her to connect better with her audiences.

Abby shared, "I think I'm now understanding my craft much better and getting into my comfort zone, so I'm now able to communicate better with my audience. I know I still have a way to go, so I work each day striving to do better. Folks should come out to Sting 2015, as I plan to put on a treat for my fans."

Those interested in learning what the buzz around Abby Dallas is about can check out another of her musical treats: her recently released DESTINED MIXTAPE, hosted by DJ Kurt Riley, is available for free download on her facebook fanpage, www.facebook.com/AbbyDallasMusic





lady-saw-baptised.jpgGospel artistes who lwere once members of the dancehall fraternity have rolled out the red carpet for Lady Saw and have given her words of encouragement as she starts her Christian journey..

Lt. Stitchie: "Persons gave me two weeks to backslide, but they didn't tell me which year. I'm still here. I will tell Marion to listen to God, not man because man look on the outward but God examines the heart."

Papa San: "Oh my God, I am rejoicing. I want her to know that we love her and we are just rejoicing. We stand with her, we stand in prayer with her and we want people to recognise that God can change any person. He (God) didn't come to call the righteous, He came to call the sinner. What I would encourage Lady Saw to do and that's what I did - get herself embedded in bible studies. She has to get into the word of God and feed her Spirit-man. The music will always be there, God gifted her in that area so just get into the word of God," Papa San said.

DJ Nicholas: "I would tell Lady Saw to try to know God for herself and not through anyone else. Spend time in fasting and prayer and the word as well. And don't be discouraged if she sees things in the church that she didn't expect. You know the saying that you have good cops and bad cops? It's the same in the church. So don't be discouraged by that."

Ryan Mark: "My prayer is that God will position her in the right church and among the right people , people who will pray for her and lift her up and not condemn her. Many people expect the church to be perfect but I have been a Christian for many years and I can tell you that you that the church is not perfect. A lot of people go into church and then leave because they didn't expect to find some things there but the church isn't a perfect place. So I would tell Marion Hall to keep her eyes on Jesus."

Crissy D: "I know the heavens are rejoicing that Lady saw has now started the race. She will have a lot of hurdles but it's a start. I want her to know that she is covered because once you enter this (Christian) race you are covered. Even if she is to look back she is still covered. Saw and I met when I just got saved and she had a strong desire to serve the Lord, she just didn't know how to come to Him but thank God that a seed was planted. I want her to know that this race will strip her and detox her of everything she thought she knew but at the end of the day she will learn to glorify God and not man."

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Jamaica's pioneering boxing promoter, Lucien Chen, died at 5:53 pm on Wednesday. Chen who had been ailing for some time, resided in South West Miami.

He was 88 at the time of his death.

Chen negotiated the world title fight for the late Trevor Berbick in 1986 against Mike Tyson, and was also pivotal in arranging title fights for Mike McCallum, Richard Clarke, Simon Brown, Bunny Grant and countless others.

Chen was also intrumental in arranging the world heavyweight title fight, 'Sunshine Showdown,' between Joe Frazier and George Foreman in Jamaica in 1973. Chen also staged many dinner boxing cards in the 1980s and 1990s.

His other love was horseracing, where he owned the country's largest bookmaking firm, Track Price Plus, and was also an owner and breeder of racehorses teaming with Melvin 'Babu' Chin of Melvin Park Stud & Stables fame.





court.jpgBritain's High Court has ruled that a crack cocaine dealer who was recommended for deportation to Jamaica or Ghana, after being caught supplying drugs in the UK, is entitled to compensation for unlawful detention.

A judge said attempts by the Home Secretary to remove Paul Ricky West after he served a jail sentence were frustrated by a lack of documents and uncertainty about his origins.

The judge said West, jailed for supplying heroin and crack cocaine, was entitled to damages because the Home Secretary continued to detain him after it should have been realised he could not be deported within a reasonable period.

The judge assessed that West had spent 13 months in unlawful detention.

The court heard various inconsistent accounts of the prisoner's life, including that the 36-year-old was born in Ghana to a Ghanaian father and a Jamaican mother.

He said in one account that he was taken to Jamaica at the age of three months, where he was raised by his mother, and then by an aunt after his mother moved to the UK. He said he joined his mother in the UK in 1995, at the age of 16, and worked in various jobs until his arrest for drug offences in November 2005.

The judge said the total lack of documents meant there was uncertainty about West's identity. He has no known family or contacts in Jamaica.





Clarendon man goes missing in Papine

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clarendon-missing-man-garthley-henry.jpgThe police need the public's assistance in locating 28-year-old Garthley Henry otherwise called, 'Omels' or 'Bantan' of Low Wood District, Sanquinetti, Clarendon. He has been missing since Friday, December 4.

He is of dark complexion, stout build and is about 5 feet 11inches tall.

According to reports from the Papine Police, Henry was last seen in Papine around 10:30am. The police have been unable to ascertain Henry's mode of dress at the time he went missing, however all efforts to contact him have proven futile.

The police urge anyone knowing the whereabouts of Garthley Henry to contact the Papine Police at 927-2047, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-2.jpgJust before competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Jamaica's Usain Bolt will return to the London Anniversary Games on July 22-23.

His appearance at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in the British capital will be his final race before the Olympic Games in Rio.

The world record-holder's appearance at this year's edition of the meeting was his last race before heading to the Chinese capital for the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015, where he successfully defended his titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

"I know the athletics fans in London are very knowledgeable and passionate about track and field and will come out in force and create a great atmosphere like they always do," said the six-time Olympic gold medallist.

"I first competed in the London Grand Prix in 2005 when the event was in Crystal Palace," the global superstar added.

"This will be my ninth time to compete in a city I know very well. There are a lot of Jamaicans living in the UK and I always get great support - it is like my home away from home."





Fern Gully closed for 48 hours due to oil spill

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fern-gully.jpgAn oil spill caused by a bus fire on Wednesday has resulted in the Fern Gully in St. Ann being closed for 48 hours.

The National Works Agency (NWA) is mobilising a work crew to respond to the situation.

The Agency says the oil spill has affected a large section of the road and seeped into drains.

NWA Communication Manager, Stephen Shaw, says the oil spill will have to be contained and cleaned up before the area can be considered safe for motorists.

"We are going to use sand to assist in soaking up the oil that is there. We will then have to engage the assistance of the fire department of having the entire area washed. Some of the oil has also gotten into the drainage system - and all the drains go into the main gully that takes water into the sea."

He urged persons who usually use the Fern Guly to get to Ocho Rios to travel through Breadnut Hill or Chalky Hill .

The incident occured when a bus transporting teachers of Eltham High in St. Catherine caught fire.

More than forty teachers were on the bus which was destroyed.

Some passenger were to the St. Ann's Bay hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Reports are that the bus developed mechanical problems.





Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor says the daring daylight shooting in Cornwall Court, Montego Bay on Tuesday was a result of gang violence among mostly teenagers.

According to SSP McGregor, who is in charge of the St James police, the teens who are in an ongoing dispute over some missing guns, exacted their revenge by harming a relative of one of the key figures involved

Speaking on radio on Wednesday, SSP McGregor said the young gangsters were among the lotto scamming trade in the parish, and his team was in search of some who have been linked with the drive-by shooting that resulted in six persons being injured, one fatally.

He said the youngsters had developed a culture of indifference to public order and community stability, with happenings like the missing guns producing violent confrontations.

Over 200 persons have been murdered in St James so far this year, with the parish leading by far, the homicide statistics among the police geographical divisions.

SSP McGregor said the police are bent on getting on top of the situation.





Teachers injured as bus overturns in Fern Gully

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fern-gully.jpgfern-gully-bus-photo-1.jpgA bus transporting teachers of Eltham High in St. Catherine caught fire in Fern Gully on Wednesday..

According to reports, more than forty teachers were on the bus which was totally destroyed by the fire.

The police say that some passenger were taken to the St. Ann's Bay hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Reports are that the bus developed mechanical problems.





EXCLUSIV Vodka set to flavor the holiday Season

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exclusiv-vodka.jpgJust in time for the festive season, Ice Beverages Jamaica has given Jamaican vodka lovers another vodka that is expected to tantalize their taste buds and convert even the most skeptical drinker.

The liquor distributor, who has been distributing wines and spirits locally, officially launched the Exclusiv Vodka line and Exclusiv Moscato in Kingston last week.

Exclusiv, a Russian Vodka from the Island of Moldova, has been turning heads internationally for years and has even garnered over nine international awards including TheFiftyBest.com's distinguished "Best Flavored Vodka" award in the United States in 2014.

With its entrance in the Jamaican market the brand is expected to be a strong competitor due to its award winning taste and low price point.

"Exclusiv Vodka in Jamaica is expected to be a strong seller because of its taste alone, it's wheat is distilled 5 times to ensure the highest quality, plus the brand has been priced quite competitively, " Marlon Thompson, CEO of Ice Beverages Jamaica shared "We always look overseas for the highest quality to take to our local consumers and when we came across the Exclusiv brand we were more than impressed" Marlon added

Exclusiv's own tagline 'Premium Vodka, made affordable' epitomizes this in all the flavors now distributed in Jamaica; Original, Berry, Pineapple, Coconut, Peach, Cherry, Rose and Napoleon XO. Great reviews were also given to Exclusiv Moscato at the Launch event last Tuesday at Café Delite in New Kingston.

"It's difficult to choose one flavor after you have tried them all. The Flavors are first class and the brand overall shows us that quality doesn't always have to be expensive" Camalla LaTouche, Brand Ambassador for Exclusiv Vodka, confirmed

Exclusiv will also be present at premiere events this holiday season and has plans for increased visibility heading into 2016. For more info follow Exclusiv Vodka on social media @exclusiv_vodkaja.

5 - Exclusiv vodka





sophia-brown-2014-award-winner.jpgA few days after receiving the good news that she was crowned 'Best Female Lovers Rock Singer 2015' at the annual Lady Flava Network Awards in Hartford, Connecticut for the second consecutive year, reggae songbird Sophia Brown now has her sights set on delivering a winning performance at Sting 2015, the Greatest One Night Dancehall/Reggae Show on earth.

The event takes place on Boxing Day, December 26 at the Jamworld Entertainment Complex in Portmore, Jamaica.

The award winning singer, who is expected to charm fans with popular hits like 'Gimme That Good Love,' 'Catch Me If You Can' and Betty Wright's 'Tonight is The Night' is hoping to build on the positive strides she has made so far for 2015.

"This will be my second time gracing the stage at Sting and I am hyped and ready to bring it to fans, gift wrapped and all," she gushed.

While the full Sting 2015 lineup has not yet been unveiled, event organizers said the Boxing night event will bring back the dancehall rulers of the 1980s including veteran DJs Josie Wales, Charlie Chaplain and Brigadier Jerry who are booked to deliver a three the hard way performance.

Considered one of the hardest working female performers in the industry, the sultry Brown is hoping to end the year in a blaze of glory. She started 2015 with a scintillating performance at Rebel Salute in Richmond, St Ann in January. She then delivered a first class performance in New York at the sixth annual Linkage Awards, where we she won an 'Outstanding Achievement In Music Award'.

She headlined Sophia Brown In Concert at the West Indian Social Club in Hartford, Connecticut and held fans in a musical trance at the Taste of The Caribbean and Jerk Festival in Hartford, Connecticut, where she shared stage with reggae singer Luciano. She also performs at the 15th annual Springfield Carnival at Blunt Park in Massachusetts, and graced the stage at the 29th annual Caribbean Festival at Great Plaza, Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.





lady-saw-baptised.jpgThe acclaimed Dacehall Muma, Marion "Lady Saw" Hall,had her sins washed away at a baptisimal service at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church on Slipe Road in Kingston on Monday evening.

The news of Lady Saw's baptism has sent dancehall fans, church-goers and just about everybody in a spin, as many contemplate the way forward for the number one female dancehall deejay, who has reigned for more than two decades.

Lady Saw posted a video of the occasion on her instagram page with the caption, "I'm now washed of all my sins. I've given my life to God fully and am ready to walk with him and do his work."

"Please give me some time to understand what God wants me to do next please. I know u want me all over the world but please wait please."

Lady Saw has spoken time and again about being "called by God" and the news of her full acceptance has been received with mixed reactions.

However, she is being fully embraced by the Christian community internationally, with even a pastor in Canada reaching out to her.

It is expected that dancehall-deejay-turned-christian, Stitchie, will be paying Lady Saw a visit very soon, if he has not already done so. Stitichie had done a song a few years ago, Fast And Pray in which he had prayed that all his dancehall artistes would give their lives to God.

In 1994, she released her debut album, Lover Girl, which had hits like Find a Good Man and Hardcore. Her accomplishments include Underneath it All, the 2002 collaboration with No Doubt which reached number three in the United States and won a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Duo or Group.

Earlier on Monday, after attending J Capri's funeral, Lady Saw announced that she had decided to cancel all her remaining dancehall shows after being "spoken to" by the Lord at the service.





Body of missing 13 year-old found on Portland beach

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe Portland police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a teenager whose body was found on Tuesday by residents at the Fisherman's Beach at Prospect in Port Antonio, Portland

He has been identified as Javaine Morris,13, a student of Drapers All Age School in the parish.

It's reported that residents at the fishing village spotted the body shortly before 6am.

It is suspected that he drowned.





education-minister-ronnie-thwaites.jpgEducation Minister Ronald Thwaites, while affirming that corporal punishment in schools is still legal, has cautioned teachers about its use.

This follows a recent incident, in which a senior teacher at St. Richard's Primary School in St. Andrew was charged with injuring a student with a ruler.

Beverly Dinall, the accused teacher, is booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on January 5.

Mr. Thwaites, while declining to comment specifically on the Dinall case, reiterated that corporal punishment was discouraged in schools. He stressed, however, that corporal punishment is not against the law, "where applied in moderation and in proper circumstances."

In that regard, he asserted that "there are circumstances where I believe it may be justified (but) certainly never to injure someone."

Ms. Dinall, was charged by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, after the agency received a complaint by the child's parent that he sustained an injury during the reported beating last month.

Mr. Thwaites said the Ministry will be looking into the alleged incident.





Security guard killed in Mona Road collision

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crime-scene-7.jpgAn accident on Mona Road in St Andrew early Tuesday has claimed the life of Sean Nelson,26, a security guard at the University of the West Indies.

The police say Nelson, who was driving a motor cycle, was trying to overtake a vehicle when he ran into its back and was thrown from his motor cycle.

He was then run over by another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.

Head of the Traffic and Highway Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, says Nelson was pronounced dead at hospital.





Six shot, one killed in Montego Bay

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crime-scene-7.jpgSix persons were shot, one fatally in Cornwall Courts, Montego Bay on Tuesday.

It's reported that shortly after midday several persons were in a house in Cornwall Courts when a man arrived and sprayed the place with bullets.

One of the victims died en route to the hospital.

More than 200 persons have been murdered in St James since January.





bill-cosby.jpgBOSTON (AP) - Bill Cosby fired back Monday at seven women who are suing him for defamation, accusing them of making false accusations of sexual misconduct for financial gain.

In a countersuit filed in federal court, Cosby alleges the women made "malicious, opportunistic, and false and defamatory accusations" against him. Cosby is seeking monetary damages "to the maximum extent permitted by law."

The women have claimed Cosby defamed them by allowing his representatives to brand them as liars after they went public with allegations of rape and other sexual misconduct dating back decades.

In his counterclaim, the comedian says the women have "engaged in a campaign to assassinate" his reputation and character. He says their campaign is "nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to extract financial gain from him."

The women suing Cosby in U.S. District Court in Springfield are among approximately 50 who have come forward with allegations of rape or unwanted sexual contact over the last year. Cosby has a home in Shelburne in western Massachusetts.

Joseph Cammarata, an attorney representing the women, said Cosby's countersuit "stinks of retaliation."

"To suggest that these ladies - each and every one of them - got together and orchestrated a campaign against Mr. Cosby is hard to fathom," Cammarata said.

Cosby's countersuit cites his work as an entertainer and philanthropist, saying Cosby "prides himself in the legacy and reputation he has earned throughout his life."

His lawyers say that his reputation and career have been damaged by the women, noting that they filed their defamation lawsuit against Cosby at a time when he was set to return to television in a new NBC series.

Once news of his return to television became well publicized in 2014, each of the women "repeatedly and maliciously published their unsubstantiated stories through multiple interviews and posts on social media platforms," Cosby's lawyers wrote. NBC dropped plans for the show after multiple women came forward with rape allegations.

When Cosby's former longtime attorney, Martin Singer, defended the comedian by denying accusations of sexual misconduct, the women filed a defamation suit against him "to silence his defenses and monetize their false accusations," his attorneys wrote.

In his countersuit, Cosby denies the rape and other sexual misconduct claims made by the women and says the allegations were motivated by money.

For example, Cosby's lawyers cite comments one of the women, Therese Serignese, made to The Huffington Post in November 2014.

Serignese said Cosby drugged and raped her in 1976 and that she called him after her mother said Cosby maybe would "take care of you." Serignese told website that she contacted Cosby in the 1990s and accepted money from him after being injured in a car accident.

In a statement, Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, said the women's "multidecade-old, false, uncorroborated, opportunistic allegations of sexual assault have caused and continue to cause him to suffer substantial injuries and damages" to his reputation and business contracts.





Nelly, En Vogue, OMI for Shaggy & Friends

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omi-photo-3.jpgRapper Nelly, female R&B quartet En Vogue, and US Virgin Islands' R City will be among the international acts slated for the January 2 staging of Shaggy and Friends in Concert.

The event is scheduled for the lawns of Jamaica House in St Andrew.

"We're trying not to repeat too many artistes. But there are artistes that people have not seen in a while and they are great. We're looking for artistes with big international songs.

On the local side, the Billboard chart-making artiste Omi, makes his local debut since conquering the globe with his breakout track Cheerleader.

He will be joined by acts including deejays Beenie Man, Busy Signal and Popcaan. Gospel act Kevin Downswell also makes the cut. Italian automotive dealer Fiat are also sponsors of the event.

iHeartMedia Inc, an American mass media company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas is on board and will be broadcasting two hours of the concert to an American audience, we want those artistes who are great reggae artistes and have those great reggae hits," Shaggy told Jamaica Observer in a previous interview. iHeartMedia, Inc is

Nelly (given name Cornel Haynes) is a two-time Grammy-winning artiste, having secured the award in 2003 and 2004. He is best known for the singles Hot in Herre, Dilemma, Grillz and Air Force Ones.

The quartet En Vogue, who are best known for the album Funky Divas, is expected to perform some of their popular anthems including Hold On, Don't Let Go and Giving Him Something He Can Feel. Producers-turned-artistes, R City (Timothy and Theron Thomas) tasted chart success with Locked Away, featuring Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.





Marley family ignorant of plans to honour Bob

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bob-marley-photo-3.jpgTHE family of reggae king Bob Marley say they are ignorant of the plans of organisers of the Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) to honour the late reggae icon.

"Damian Marley wanted to know about the award as the family doesn't know about it. They only got to know about the award through a story in the Jamaica Observer," said Bob Marley Music manager, Doreen Crujeiras.

Recently, Zima Chairman Joseph Nyadzayo announced that they had postponed this year's awards ceremony to next year as they wanted to honour Marley with a Lifetime Achievement award. According to organisers, Marley's family had said they would only be free to travel to Zimbabwe early next year to receive the award.

Crujeiras said they feared Zima organisers could have been dealing with impersonators as no one had approached the Marley family with such a request.

"Since we aren't aware of the award, maybe the organisers have been dealing with the wrong people. We're now frantically trying to establish who they've been dealing with," Crujeiras was quoted as saying.

Nyadzayo said an official letter has subsequently been sent to the family.

"Marley's management spoke to us and we've sent a letter officially asking them to honour Bob Marley. We're now waiting for feedback from them on whether they'll accept the award," he said.

Nyadzayo said if, by any chance, the Marleys rejected the accolade, they would resort to an alternative plan.

"We'd asked members of I-Three, comprising of Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, to accept an award; and if push comes to shove, we'd award them instead," he said.





JCapri's funeral a celebration of life

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jcapri-funeral-programme.jpgThe funeral service for entertainer JCapri was a wholesome celebration of life, held on Monday at the UWI Chapel in Mona, St Andrew.The service was officiated by Reverend Bosworth Mullings and Reverend Samuel McCook.

Scores of mourners turned out to suppirt the family as they recalled the too-short life of the artiste, who everyone agree was destined for greatness. Her life was described as "a comet blazing across the evening sky" by her aunt Karen Phillips in the funeral programme.

The programme also featured a touching tribute from Capri's mother, Oradale Carwin and Capri's best friend, Danielle,.

jcapri-funeral-lady-saw-dec-14.jpg

The music fraternity was well-represented and among those present were Lady Saw, Christopher Martin, Carlene 'Dancehall Queen' Smith, Romain Virgo, Alaine, Dean Fraser, producer Christopher Birch, Skatta Burrell, Delus, ZJ Liquid, TOK and D'Angel.

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Crystal Davis, the daughter of Carlene and 'King of the Dancehall' Beenie Man, was noticeably emotional at the service and was seen crying in her mother's arms.

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Cherine Anderson delivered a touching tribute in song at the start of the service. Many family and friends tearfully watched as she stirred their hearts with a rendition of Brandy's Missing You.Other musical tributes came from Romain Virgo, Aisha Davis, Dean Fraser, Alaine Laughton and Christopher Martin.

JCapri died in hospital more than a week after her Mercedes Benz slammed into a wall and overturned in Barbican.





Vendors injured as school wall collapses

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wall-collapses-at-school.jpgTwo vendors at the Happy Grove High School, in Portland have been hospitalised after a wall at the institution fell on them earlier today.

A parish council drain runs through the school compound and it's believed to have undermined the wall.

Several other vendors who were carried away by the heavy water caused by torrential rain, have been rescued.





The teacher at the centre of the beating incident at the St. Richards Primary School has been charged.

Beverly Dinall has been charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

She was granted station bail in the sum of J$50-thousand and is booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates Court on January 5.

She has retained attorney Peter Champagnie.

Dinall, who was questioned for more than an hour, is alleged to have beaten a male student at the school.





Media workers injured in car crash

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media-workers-crash.jpgTwo RJR employees were injured in a motor vehicle crash in Trelawny on Monday afternoon.

The engineering support team was heading to Montego Bay for an outside broadcast when the incident occurred.

One of the employees is scheduled to undergo surgery.





lady-saw-at-j-capri-funeral.jpgDancehall deejay Marion Hall, aka Lady Saw is heeding the long call of the Lord to serve Him and Him only. The number one female deejay has been sending out notice of her desire to turn away from dancehall since last year, but she finally made the decision on Monday.

According to Lady Saw, she will be cancelling all her dancehall shows because God has called her to work for Him.

On her Instagram page Monday afternoon, Lady Saw wrote:"God has just spoken to me. He did so at J Capri service and finish it off in my house."

"I'm now a new servant of the Lord," Hall said.

"All my dancehall shows will be cancel cause God has call me to work for him now," she continued in her post. "Glory be to the most high."

Lady Saw was among family, friends, fans, and well-wishers who gathered at the service of thanksgiving for the life of singjay Jordan 'J Capri' Phillips Monday morning at the University Chapel of the West Indies, Mona. Phillips died on December 4, following a tragic car crash on November 23 in the Barbican area of St Andrew. She was 23 years old.

This is not the first time Hall has professed her devotion to God and while a few of her followers reminded her of this, most were supportive and encouraged her spiritual journey.

Chyril_Hair said: "Yes sister Marion Hall this is where your real work begin @ladysawdhqueen."

Vellmore said: "That's wonderful and will still be your biggest fan in everything you do."

Shereew01 said: " Amen. God is really moving and speaking to a lot of us. May God bless you on your walk and journey with him.





Police capture 2 jail breakers; kill one

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe Police have captured another two of the six prisoners who escaped from the Montego Bay Police lock-up in St. James on November 30.

The men were captured in snap operations in Westmoreland and St. Thomas between Saturrday and Sunday afternoon.

They are Randy Murray,30, a labourer of Landillo, in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland and Gregory Roberts, 32,otherwise called Gref, of Maroon Town in St James.

Murray is charged with illegal possession of a firearm while Roberts is charged with robbery with aggravation.

On Friday, one of the six escapees, Benjamin Stephens, was fatally shot during an alleged confrontation with the police in Spring Mount, St. James.

A 9 millimetre pistol and three rounds were seized during the incident, which was reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

Meanwhile, the police are seeking the public's assistance in locating the other three escapees.

They are: old Shaniel Luton, 25, of Farm Heights, St. James who was convicted of murder and scheduled to be sentenced on December 4.

Kelvin Hodge, a labourer of Barnett Town, St. James who was charged for four counts of murder and Marcus Robinson,34, a higgler of Dome Street, Montego Bay, St. James.He was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

Anyone with information that can lead to their recapture is asked to contact the Montego Bay Police at 953-6191, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





Bishop Neville deSouza is dead

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bishop-neville-desouza.jpgDr. Neville deSouza, the 12th Lord Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jamaica & the Cayman Islands, is dead.

Bishop deSouza died at his home in Mandeville, Manchester just before midday on Saturday. He had been ailing for some time. Bishop deSouza, who was 87, served as a parish priest in many sections of the island. In 1973, he was elected Suffragan Bishop of Montego Bay, and Lord Bishop in 1979.

He was known for his outspokenness and was not deterred by criticism, especially in the 1970s when he spoke out strongly about social issues of the time. He retired in 2000.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has paid tribute to the former Anglican Archbishop.

The Prime Minister said he gave many years of community and national public service with passion, deep devotion and distinction. She added that during his tenure as the head of the Anglican Church in Jamaica, Bishop DeSouza presided over the historic ordination of women to the Ministry for the first time.

She also remembered Bishop DeSouza for his wide range of interests, advocacy and areas of service. The Prime Minister extended condolences to his family and the Anglican Church community.





missing-teen-shaneia-reynolds.jpgAn Ananda Alert has been activated for 13-year-old Shaneia Reynolds of Golden Hills, St Andrew who has been missing since Friday, December 11.

She is of dark complexion, slim build and is about 165 centimetres (5 feet 5 inches) tall.

Reports from the Stony Hill police are that Shaneia was last seen at home about 6:30am dressed in her uniform - a white blouse, Khaki tunic and a pair of black shoes. She reportedly has not been seen or heard from since.

The police urge anyone knowing the whereabouts of Shaneia Reynolds to contact the Stony Hill Police at 942-2223, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





The four gangsters who were arrested on Friday during an operation in Eastern Kingston will be questioned by detectives from Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) this week.

Reports are that one of the suspects, whose alias is 'Pepsi,' is believed to be the leader of the McGregor Gully Gang.

Supported by the military and other police units, MOCA reportedly conducted the pre-dawn raid in several locations in search of the men behind Thursday's million dollar robbery in downtown Kingston.

One illegal firearm and several rounds of ammunition were also seized during the police operation.

MOCA operatives said members of the McGregor Gully Gang have been linked to extortion and other serious criminal activities.

The men in custody are expected to be charged under the anti-gang legislation after the completion of the interrogation process.





Monsignor Albert to be buried on Wednesday

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monsignor-richard-albert.jpgThe funeral service for the late Roman Catholic priest, Monsignor Richard Albert, is scheduled for 10am on Wednesday, December 16, at the Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church on Shortwood Road in St Andrew.

The much-loved Monsignor Albert, founder of both the St Patrick's and Stella Maris foundations, passed away suddenly on November 30, leaving behind a legion of grieving relatives and friends.

There will be public viewing of Monsignor Albert's body on Tuesday, December 15, at St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church on Bay Farm Road, also in St Andrew, between 11am to 1pm; then at Christ the Redeemer Roman Catholic Church in Seaview Gardens, St Andrew between 1:45pm and 4pm; then at Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church between 5pm and 6pm.

The organisers of the funeral service have advised that there will be ample parking arrangements in place for the ceremony, including a shuttle bus service to and from the Shortwood Practicing playfield.

Cremation and internment will follow at a later date.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo thuds who fought off an innocent Meadowbrook High Scool girl and stole her cellular phone and later allegedly mowed down a motorcyclist while fleeing the scene, were last week jailed for two years for the theft.

With that part of their date with justice over, they are now left to ponder what will transpire when they return to court on January 25, 2016, to answer to a charge of manslaughter in relation to the death of the motorcyclist.

Ryan Isaacs, 22, of Cassava Piece in Kingston 8, and Kevin Bailey, 21, of Mannings Hill Road, also in Kingston 8, pleaded guilty with explanation to charges of robbery with aggravation and manslaughter in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

The court was told that on the afternoon of November 20, Isaacs and Bailey, who were travelling on a motorcycle, held up and robbed the complainant, a student, of her Samsung Galaxy Core 2 cellular phone along Meadowbrook Avenue in Kingston 19.

The outline indicated that Bailey jumped from the bike and punched the complainant, knocking her to the ground in the process, then snatched her cellular phone.

Bailey admitted in his statement to the allegation, and is alleged to have indicated that the motorcycle on which he and Isaacs were travelling, collided with another motorcycle in the vicinity of PriceSmart on Red Hills Road, as they attempted to evade a car that had stopped at the scene of the robbery.

The injured cyclist, who was identified as Christopher Sherwood of Glengoffe in St Catherine, was rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital, where he died while undergoing treatment.

When both men appeared in court on Wednesday, they said they had not planned to steal the phone. Bailey told the court that he had lost his cellular phone on the day of the incident, and he was frustrated.

In relation to Sherwood's death, Isaacs said he was not riding dangerously, and that the collision occurred some distance from the scene of the cell phone theft.

Senior Resident Magistrate, Judith Pusey, subsequently sentenced Isaacs and Bailey to two years' imprisonment for the theft.





Why Etana really neva go a di people dem show?

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etana-vprecords.jpgAccording to reports, reggae singer, Etana has been called out after a no-show at a charity show in the US. The organisers want back ther money, including the money they wasted on plane tickets for Etana and her husband/manager and hotel rooms.

According to the reports, Etana and failed to make an appearance at the benefit concert held in Queens, New York, on November 27. It was hosted by social media blogger and Dancehall Connections TV host, Tina Chin, in partnership with the Zion Kids Foundation led by president, Roxanne Little.

Tina Chin wrote on Facebook last Tuesday that Etana and her management team have refused to refund monies paid to secure her performance.

"Attached is the original acceptance to my request for your entertainer Etana to be a part of my charity event which was scheduled for November 27, 2015," the post read.

"You, however, failed to honour the initial agreement and since you have reneged on your part of the agreement, I am asking that you refund all expenses already paid out to you prior to your entertainer's scheduled appearance."

Since Chin made the issue public on social media, Etana's husband, Andre Morris, who is also the artiste manager/director of Freemind Music that manages Etana, stated in a release that Etana did not perform because the event was poorly organised and that the organisers did not live up to their end of the contract.

"Of all the charities I have ever done, none has been this disorganised."

Morris said that there were only "25 people at the event" and that there was hardly any mention of the charity's aim during the first opening minutes of the event.

But if Etana and her manager were not at the event, how do they know that? Did Etana know prior to the concert that only 25 persons would have shown up?

And, even so, she accepted the deposit, thereore she had an obligation to attend the show. Even is it was just to show her face.

This excuse makes absolutely no sense.

"I am always willing and ready to give back," Etana explained in the statement. "But I see now sometimes it's best to not be so quick and ready to be associated with every charity.

Moving right along.....





footballer-assassinated.jpgGunmen killed Honduras international and former Rangers star Arnold Peralta in a drive-by shooting in a shopping mall car park, police said.

The 26-year-old was assassinated in his home city of La Ceiba, police spokesman Commissioner Leonel Sauceda told AFP.

Peralta, who had been laying for Olimpia, the top side in Honduras, is the latest victim of apparent gang violence in Honduras, where gang warfare has given it one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Police were hunting for at least one gunman, said Sauceda, adding that the motive was unlikely to be a robbery because none of Peralta's belongings were taken.

"Apparently it was one or two individuals who were traveling in a vehicle -- a motorcycle or car," he added.

Osman Madrid, Olimpia vice president, told HRN radio station: "We are saddened, dismayed."

Peralta's name trended on Twitter, where fans of Scottish side Rangers remembered him fondly as a committed player who endeared himself to the Ibrox crowd with his work rate.

Peralta made his name in the local leagues in the coastal city of La Ceiba and was picked for the Honduras squad for the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt in 2009. He was in the squad for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

He joined Rangers in 2013 but returned home in January this year to sign for Olimpia, the most successful team in Honduras.





Sales of vinyls up 50%

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vinyls-make-comrback.jpgStreaming services are encouraging young music fans to go out and buy vinyl LPs, as they discover the joy of owning a physical copy of their favourite artist.

Research from the music industry suggests streaming music, on services such as Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music, has unexpectedly boosted sales of CDs and vinyl records.

Vinyl sales are up 50 per cent this year, with the industry expecting to sell more than two million by the end of the year.

Even Tesco now stock vinyl LPs after a successful trial selling an Iron Maiden record in the summer.

While CD sales are still falling, the rate of decline has slowed from 20 per cent in 2012 to six per cent in the first six months of this year. They should also receive a late-year boost with Adele's album '25' after she refused to allow it on streaming services.

It had previously been thought the ever-rising figure of recorded audio streams - which grew 78 per cent in 2014 - contributed to the decline of music being bought in tangible form.

But the BPI, the music trade body, and the Entertainment Retailers Association say two thirds of music fans are streaming music to decide if they like it before going out and purchasing their favourite albums.

They are also encouraged to buy an album in hard copy for the more authentic sound quality and the fact more money ends up in the artist's pocket.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI and BRIT Awards, said: 'The enduring appeal of CDs and vinyl has surprised many commentators who wrote them off years ago.

'But these physical formats still represent over 40% of UK music consumption, after decades of success.'

Kim Bayley, head of the Entertainment Retailers Association, added: 'This research suggests music fans are a great deal more nuanced in their approach to new forms of technology than they are sometimes given credit for.'





Half Pint, Sanchez to rock Famous December 19

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sanchez-photo-1.jpgIt has been a while since veteran reggae singers Sanchez and Half Pint performed on a major concert locally. However, both artistes are ready to sing the hits for their diehard fans on Saturday, December 19.

Billed as The Greatest Lovers Rock Night of the Year, both Sanchez and Half Pint will set the stage on fire at the Famous Nightclub in Portmore. The event is being promoted by music producer and promoter Richard 'Richie D' Martin.

Martin, who has carved out an impressive track record producing hits for a number of dancehall's biggest names, including Lady Saw, Bounty Killer, Tony Curtis, Hawkeye and Delly Ranx, among others, explained his reason for promoting the upcoming concert.

"I'm a fan of both artistes and I've always wanted to work with them. I think I am among many who love and respect the works of both these legends of reggae music," said Martin.

The world-renowned Stone Love Movement selector Geefus will provide musical memories from the 1980s to the 1990s prior to showtime.

Martin, who is based between Jamaica and Florida, has successfully promoted events, including the Chill party series in Jamaica and Miami, as well events at the Regency Bar & Lounge and Fiction Nightclub.

"This concert is one very personal to me. It is my first concert here in Jamaica. It will be a very up close and personal show, which I've always thought a headliner like Sanchez is perfect for. Ladies, especially, will enjoy the intimate setting." Martin confided.

Presold tickets cost $1500, while VIP is $3000. Ticket outlets include Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records in Marketplace, Fromage at Hillcrest Avenue, York Pharmacy in Half-Way Tree and Genus Pharmacy in Portmore.





Welcome to Jamrock Cruise ends with book donation

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The second staging of the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise made its first charitable donation to the Jamaica Library Service on Tuesday, December 8 during its final stop in Jamaica that day. The presentation which took place at the Ocho Rios Library in St. Ann saw Julian 'Juju' Marley making the presentation on behalf of Jamrock Productions, organizers of the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise.

Students from the Ocho Rios Preparatory and Ocho Rios Primary Schoosl along with officials from the Jamaica Library Service participated in the handover much to Mr. Marley's pleasure.

"I am happy for the response this initiative has received. These children are the key to our countries country's success and we hope others will help to encourage students in their learning activities. The cruise got an overwhelming support and it was a great joy to share this happiness and goodwill with the children", Julian Marley expressed.





'Dre Island Live' Saturday at Burlington Avenue

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Reggae artiste Dre Island is gearing up for his first live show in Jamaica.

The event dubbed, Dre Island and the Jah Kingdom Warriors Live is slated for Saturday, December 12 at Nanook, 20 Burlington Avenue. The young star has enjoyed a breakthrough 2015 which has seen him chart with singles such as On Time and My Love.

The Uptown Downtown singer is looking forward to his first full live show on local soil and is promising an unforgettable performance.

"I am really looking forward to this one for so many different reasons. I have been a guest performer at several shows involving other Reggae artistes but this time it is just Dre Island. I want to use this to officially introduce my music and share that experience with fans. I am eager and excited so patrons can expect great energy and great music," said Dre Island.





j-capri-photo-1.jpgKariblink Digital has partnered with Digicel and The Star Online and to provide the free live stream of the "Celebration of Life " wake and funeral for J Capri.

The wake will be held on Saturday December 12 at Little Copa in Bull Bay, St. Thomas.

It will feature performances by dancehall acts such as: Sean Paul, Jahmiel, Charly Blacks, Aidonia, Chi Ching Ching and Popcaan.

Boom Boom, DJ Liquid and DJ Smurf are also scheduled to provide music for the fans at the wake on Saturday.

J Capri's funeral service is set for Monday December 14, at the UWI Chapel in St. Andrew.

The service is scheduled to get underway at 10:00 a.m.

The live streams for both events will be available at go-jamaica.com/jcapri.





zika-virus.jpgThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel notices for people visiting nine countries in South and Central America, due to local transmission of the Zika Virus.

The notices, issued yesterday, relate to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela.

Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with the Zika virus and are spreading it to people. The CDC recommends that travelers to the nine countries protect themselves from mosquito bites.

Brazil's Ministry of Health is also concerned about a possible association between the Zika virus outbreak and increased numbers of babies with birth defects. Pregnant women are being urged to take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent Zika virus infection.

With the virus detected in several countries Jamaica's Health Ministry has heightened the alert for persons to be prepared, in the event the mosquito-borne illness reaches the island.





Jamaica is #7 on list of most murderous countries

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Jamaica is down to seven on the most-murderous countries list, according to statistics provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which noted the island's once-recurrent presence in the top five.

The data further revealed, that almost half a million people from countries in Central and South America, lose their lives each year due to intentional homicide.

Intentional homicide, according to the UN, is defined as unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person.

Honduras and Venezuela continue to rank as the top two most murderous nations on the world, with over one in 1,000 being killed each year.

However, the biggest surprise was the introduction of Caribbean neighbours St Kitts and Nevis, and the rise of the United States Virgin Islands to the top three in the world.

Here's a list of top 10 most-murderous countries in the world for 2015:

1. Honduras: 90.4 homicides per 100,000

2. Venezuela: 53.7 homicides per 100,000

3. United States Virgin Islands: 52.6 violent-deaths per 100,000

4. Belize: 44.7 homicides per 100,000

5. El Salvador: 41.2 murders per 100,000

6. Guatemala: 39.9 homicides per 100,000

7. Jamaica: 39.3 murders per 100,000

8. Lesotho (In southern Africa): 38 homicides per 100,000

9. Swaziland: 33.8 homicides per 100,000

10. St Kitts and Nevis: 33.6 homicides per 100,000

On the other hand, several developed countries in Europe and Asia have the lowest homicide rates - with Liechtenstein, Singapore and Iceland having homicide rates of lower than 0.3 per 100,000.

The UN's list further ranked Basseterre, the capital of St Kitts, at the top of the list of cities - with 131.6 homicides per 100,000 people.

Capital city Kingston falls in at number ten in the list of most murderous cities.

Here's the full list from first to tenth place: Basseterre (St Kitts), Caracas (Venezuela), Guatemala City (Guatemala), Belize City (Belize), Tegucigalpa (Honduras), Maseru (Lesotho), Cape Town (South Africa), Panama City (Panama), San Salvador (El Salvador) and Kingston (Jamaica).

Jamaica's fall in the global rankings, was seen as a welcomed improvement as the island continues a downward trend in criminal activity. The island bettered its sixth place rank achieved in 2014.





4 suspects held following downtown Kingston robbery

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe police have detained four suspects in connection with Thursday morning's million dollar robbery outside the Duke Street branch of the National Commercial Bank (NCB) in downtown Kingston.

Head of the Kingston Central Police, Superintendent Michael Scott, told RJR News the suspects were held in the afternoon during an operation in East Kingston.The police report that shortly after 10am a female bearer was about to enter the bank when two men drove up on a motor bike.

One of the men grabbed the bag with the cash.

The men were challenged by a security guard and a licensed firearm holder.

However, they escaped.hots were fired and it is believed one of the robbers was hit. The cops say they found a helmet with bloodstains on the scene.





coral-gardens.jpgA report on the 1963 Coral Gardens incident released by the Office of the Public Defender is recommending that the State apologises to the Rastafarian community.

Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry, on Thursday presented the report at a meeting of the St James Parish council.

Harrison Henry explained the report looked at the events which led to the burning of a gas station in Coral Gardens in St James and the subsequent arrest, trial and imprisonment of Rastafarians.

The report found several human rights violations including denial of religious freedom.

The report recommended that a J$10 million trust fund be set up for survivors of the victims of the Coral Gardens incident.

The report also recommended that the State considers the granting of licenses to the Rastafarian community to grow marijuana for research.





St Vincent: Ralph Gonsalves holds onto power

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ralph-gonsalves.jpgPreliminary results stemming from Wednesday's general election in St. Vincent and the Grenadines state that the ruling Unity Labour Party , ULP, has held onto power.

The ULP, led by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves won eight of the 15 seats, while the main opposition New Democratic Party, NDP, led by former prime minister Arnhim Eustace, won the remaining seven seats.





black-pearl.jpgUS-based dancehall artiste/producer Kevin 'Black Pearl' Richards, received seven shots last Monday and lives to tell the tale.

"I was in my house when gunmen broke in and just start firing shots. Is like the man dem wa kill me because a seven shots me pick up, one of which struck me in my chest. I am just thanking God to be alive because it could have been worse," he said.

Hailing from Spanish Town in St Catherine, Richards migrated to Florida in 2004. He is the producer of the Team Team Strike beat, which features songs from Navino and Ryme Minista. This was followed by the rhythms Hero's Day, Sex, and, most recently, War Like.

The latter features Masika's Gas Dem, Black Pearl's Rise it and Dwayno's Send them Home.

Richards is also the CEO of Spit Fiay Records, which has offices in Spanish Town, St Catherine.





nicolene-donaldson-marketing-manager-lasco-financial-services-presents-huawei-device-to-raffle-winner-at-the-launch.jpgMultinational networking and telecoms manufacturer, Huawei, has partnered with LASCO Financial Services Limited (LFSL) to distribute its mobile devices. LFSL is an authorized distributor of Huawei's open market and dual SIM handsets, tablets, wearable gadgets, bluetooth headsets and many other devices at select stores with immediate effect. On Friday, November 13 the line of products were unveiled to specially invited partners at a function in Kingston.

Devices distributed by LFSL include: the very affordable Ascend Y Series; Ascend G650; And the G Elite (P8) and the Ascend G7. The Huawei Talkband B1 and B2 as well as the Media Pad Youth 2, which is a 7 inch tablet with 4GB internal memory and up to 32GB external memory capacity, are also available.

Event models proudly display the latest unlocked Huawei devices, now available at over 10 LASCO agent locations island-wide. The big reveal happened at the official LASCO Financial Services and Huawei Launch held at The Liguanea Club, New Kingston on November 13.

Consumers can now access Huawei devices at 10 select LASCO Financial Service Ltd. locations islandwide.





$12 billion in circulation for Christmas - BOJ

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jamaican-paper-money.jpgThe Bank of Jamaica is expecting to be called upon this month to boost the stock of cash in the market by more than $12 billion. That is to meet expectations of stronger demand for cash associated with spending during the Christmas holidays.

That cash is expected to swell the currency stock to $84 billion by the end of December.

In real terms, this would constitute an eight per cent increase in the value of currency in circulation, compared with less than a one per cent increase last year.

The Bank of Jamaica says the relatively strong growth in currency demand reflects lower inflation and a recovery in economic activity.





An agreement has been reached with the People's National Party and the Jamaica Labour Party regarding the use of political paraphernalia, including flags, ahead of increased campaigning for the general election. Both parties have given a commitment not to mount flags during political campaigns.

This agreement was arrived at during a meeting yesterday, convened by Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment-Brown.

The meeting, which involved the general-secretaries of both parties, followed concerns about the mounting of flags in breach of the Political Code of Conduct.

The Political Ombudsman said various recommendations were presented and commitments given by the political representatives. She told RJR News that, while the two parties have agreed not to mount flags, they might not be able to prevent enthusiastic supporters doing so "in advance of a meeting."

The situation is somewhat complicated, she explained, by the fact that "while people may enthusiastically put up flags in advance of a meeting, or something; generally, to get them down afterwards, you have to pay people to get them down."

Accordingly, she is recommending that "the taking down be planned, as part of any putting up process, although both parties have agreed that putting up of flags will not be part of their campaign."





Robber shot at NCB on Duke Street

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jamaican-paper-money.jpgThe National Commercial Bank on Duke Street in Kingston has been closed following a shooting incident outside its doors in an attempted robbery this morning.

One of the would-be robbers was shot and injured when he was challenged by a security guard and a licensed firearm holder.

He is now hospitalised under police guard.

However, his accomplice who was awaiting him on a motorcycle escaped.

It's reported that the robber was attacking a bearer who had just arrived when he was shot.

The incident has forced police investigators to divert traffic in the vicinity of NCB Duke Street as Scenes of Crime sleuths process the area.





the-bahamas.jpgThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Thursday said it has written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of The Bahamas about the recent detention of 11 Jamaican women who were suspected of solicitation for prostitution and being in breach of the Immigration Act.

In its formal letter to its counterpart ministry in The Bahamas, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said it advised them of its concerns that the Jamaican women may have been unfairly profiled for arrest and were not afforded proper treatment while in detention.

In a news release Thursday, the ministry said it is now looking forward to a timely response from The Bahamas.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry also reported that Patrick Hanlan, the honorary consul of Jamaica in The Bahamas, visited and interviewed the women who were held over the weekend and worked with The Bahamian authorities to secure their release within 48 hours.





A young male teacher at a high school in St Mary was on Wednesday caught with his pants down, as the saying goes, while making a clandestine move at a cottage with a 14 year-old student from the school.

The teacher was seen going into a cottage near the institution with a 14-year-old female student, which aroused the suspicion of persons in the area.The principal of the institution was alerted, and upon going to the cottage with another senior staff member, the two reportedly found the teacher inside, and the 14-year-old student hidden inside a closet in the building.

The principal scolded the student, much to the annoyance of the young teacher who pulled a knife and allegedly threatened the principal.

The teacher was eventually taken into police custody, and the student taken to a doctor for an examination.

Jamaican women detained in The Bahamas were not prostitutes! Watchdog groups demand probe.

Two women's rights groups in the Bahamas are urging the country's Police Commissioner to launch a probe into last Saturday's arrest of eleven Jamaican women.

The call follows allegations that the women were forced to urinate on the floor of the cell where they slept on cardboard boxes. The groups believe the women were victims of misconduct by Bahamian officers who allegedly discriminated against them, based on their nationality. It is also alleged that the Jamaicans were not allowed phone calls and were threatened while police held them for 36 hours.

During a press conference on Tuesday, representatives of Bahamas Women's Watch and the Bahamas Crisis Centre called for the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Department of Immigration, to cease what they characterised as the ongoing discrimination against Jamaicans.

They said this also applied to immigrant women who suffer the indignity of systemic discrimination because of their nationality. The watchdog groups said the officers' alleged behaviour must be investigated and condemned in the strongest manner by the Bahamas Police Commissioner.

The groups are also requesting an urgent meeting with the Commissioner to discuss how he plans to eradicate what they say is the systemic practice of discrimination against vulnerable immigrant women by police personnel.

The groups are in the process of drafting a formal complaint to submit to the police.

Meanwhile, a report in the Bahamas Tribune newspaper has provided details on the detention of the eleven Jamaican women. The report said the Selective Enforcement Team went to a nightclub in New Providence about 2 o'clock Saturday morning and arrested the Jamaicans, on suspicion of solicitation for prostitution and breach of the Immigration Act.The women were released on Sunday evening without any charges.

The newspaper quoted Noelle Nicolls,Communications Coordinator at the Bahamas Women's Watch, as saying the women who were arrested were paying patrons of the establishment. She said several of the women were attending a private birthday party in the upstairs section of the bar, while two others were there having a drink.

As was previously reported, one of the women arrested is a complainant in a rape case against an immigration officer. Miss Nicolls said the woman fears this incident was an attempt to harass and intimidate her specifically.

She claimed that, without any due process, the Bahamian men and women were allowed to leave the club while the Jamaican women, some of whom had documentation confirming their legal right to reside in the country, were hauled off. Ms Nicolls said the matter highlighted the need for state agencies to engage in sensitivity training.





damian-crawford.jpgDamion Crawford, who is in St Vincent this week on behalf of the PNP,show him true colours pon Facebook when him slew Mayor of Kingston Brown Burke on Thursday.

"Thank God Angella Brown Burke's punishment never extended to St Vincent; up here nice," Crawford seh.

of course, Brown Burke, who get her doctorate di odder day hit back: "Damion Crawford lef mi name alone. Ask Ralph if a nuh me tell him fi mek you come."

Crawford replied, "Angella Brown Burke Ralph not even mention you as someone to say hello to...ur influence nuh pass William Grant Park."

mayor-angela-brown-burke-photo-1.jpg

Mout seh di two a dem a cuss true Brown Burke never want Crawford fi get di post as candidate fi di Trelawny North constituency,but Brown Burke seh a lie, nutten no go so.

All kind a people a give dem advise pon Facebook and a tell dem fi stop di squabbling, but it nuh look like dem a go stop. And these are the childish people we have a lead di country. Di two a dem nedd to be disciplined by the party.

Crawford was rejected as the PNP candidate in East Rural St Andrew and him bex so till. Him did write how ""It seems me and the party are heading towards irreconcilable differences #prenup."





dengue.jpgThe number of cases of dengue fever in Hawaii has risen to 139, prompting health authorities this week to warn residents and travelers to the popular winter vacation destination to take precautions to avoid contracting the virus.

The Department of Health said in its latest statement on the outbreak that 122 residents and 17 visitors on Hawaii Island, the largest of the state's eight main islands, have been confirmed to have dengue fever.

The first cases in the current outbreak were traced back to September, and over time they developed into what is now being treated as a cluster of 108 adults and 31 children. The cluster has now grown to rival the last major dengue outbreak, which took place in 2001 and lasted about 10 months with 92 cases on Maui, 26 on Oahu and four on Kauai.

The outbreak is taking place at the start of the island's peak tourism season, which usually begins around mid-December and lasts until March or mid-April. The Hawaii Tourism Authority published an alert last month instructing tourists to take precautions against the illness.

"Of the confirmed cases, 122 are Hawaii Island residents and 17 are visitors," the state department of health said in an update released Monday.

But there's not much they can do, an expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

"Dengue control is extremely difficult. We don't have a very good way of stopping dengue outbreaks," said Dr. Lyle Petersen, an expert on mosquito-borne infections at CDC who's just back from Hawaii.

"Maybe you can slow it down somewhat but there's no way to stop it."

That's in part because dengue usually causes a very mild illness, so people are still apt to go outside, where they are likely to be bitten by mosquitoes - which in turn will spread the virus to others.

Petersen says there are "clearly" more than 139 cases now on Hawaii. "You can't count them all. You are counting people going to the doctor and seeking medical help and getting tested. But people with more mild illness may not go to the doctor," he said.

Dengue is carried by mosquitoes - especially the Aedes aegypti mosquito that thrives in tropical zones. There's no treatment for dengue and no vaccine.

It can cause a very severe form called dengue hemorrhagic fever, which kills 20 percent of victims, although good medical care can lower death rates dramatically.

The last real dengue outbreak in Hawaii was in 2001 and 2002, and lasted nine months. This outbreak may have been driven by a lot of recent rain, Petersen said.

Dengue has been moving into the continental United States, especially in Florida and south Texas.

The CDC's keeping an eye on two other mosquito-borne viruses - Chikungunya and Zika. "Chikungunya and Zika are spread by the same mosquito," Petersen said. "We are definitely worried about one of those viruses being introduced on Hawaii."





Funeral for JCapri December 14

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j-capri-photo-3.jpg

j-capri-photo-4.jpgThe funeral service for dancehall artiste, J Capri will be held next week Monday, December 14th at 10 am at the UWI Chapel, Mona, St Andrew.

Artistes who have been confirmed to perform at the funeral service include Alaine, Christopher Martin and Cherine Anderson.

There will also be a celebration of her life at an event on Saturday at Little Copa featuring selectors such as ZJ Smurf, ZJ Liquid ad Boom Boom. Rising dancehall artiste Jahmiel is also slated to perform at this event.

J Capri, 23, given name Jordan Phillips, was hospitalised on November 23rd after her vehicle overturned. Reports said a car she was driving slammed into a wall in Barbican Square about 3 am. She was rushed to hospital following the collision.

j-capri-reggae-sumfest.jpg





OMI's Cheerleader goes double platinum in the UK

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omi-cheerleader.jpgJamaican artiste OMI has achieved another international milestone with his smashing pop single "Cheerleader", which was certified 2x platinum in the UK.

The Clarendon-born singer, 29, took to Twitter to make the announcement on Wednesday, and posted a picture of himself holding the double platinum plaque.

"2X PLATINUM in the UK! Thank YOU for making this possible. #Cheerleader #OMIarmy," the post said.

In the UK, double platinum means that "Cheerleader" has sold over a million units in the country. The BPI, which gives the certification in the UK also takes digital streams into consideration.

Cheerleader was first released in 2012. A remix was released in 2014 and has gained global success in 2015 reaching number one in 20 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Germany.The song was also named among Spotify's Top 5 Global tracks for 2015 and was also nominated for Song Of The Year by the BBC Music Awards.

The award for this category will be presented on Thursday, December 10 in Birmingham, England.





shebada-beautiful.jpgComedian and actor Keith 'Shebada' Ramsay has launched a stunning verbal attack on popular emcee Nuffy, and took stinging potshots at recording artiste I Octane and Konshens in a post online.

In the post, he says: "look how dem spread rumours and try mash up my career and the whole ah dem a try tek my style and waa be like me. I Octane pants tighter dan mine. Konshens look like me twin and now Nuffi look like me lickle sister! No sah, me cawn badda!"

When contacted, a fired-up Shebada directed his verbal attack towards Nuffy, in particular, and singled out I Octane and Konshens for some of his vitriol.

"Nuffy ah mi lickle sister, we go church together and siddown pon the same bench, but ah him ah shake the tambourine. Right now, yu nu see how him favour me? Ah just that him ah the black version....Nuffy need style, why him no try white since black nah work fi him."

He also launched a verbal broadside against I Octane and what he called "dancehall hypocrites".

"Tell Octane fi bring back mi pants, ah mi one black pants and mi caan find it. Dem a speculate and a bash me. Everybody lick out against me, dem classify me as homosexual when other people ah put on wig and a gwaan like woman, and the same artistes dem a like fi dem post pon Instagram, but dem waan come bash me," he said.

He said that some of the dancehall artistes were hypocrites.

"Dem a gwaan like queen, and dem not even a king, dem a jack!" he said.

Shebada is known for his hilarious performances in plays such as Bashment Granny 1, 2, and 3, as well as Di Driva and GhettOut. His latest play, Bangarang, will open on December 18th at the Green Gables Theatre.





raheem-sterling-photo-1.jpgRaheem Sterling, the Jamaica-born striker who plays for Manchester City, has scored a goal in honour of late dancehall artiste J Capri and has written her name on a pair of his sneakers.

Sterling took to Instagram to pay tribute to J Capri, stating that he scored a goal in her honour.

"Today was for you it was my birthday n I was determined to score for you..such an Angel n a genuine friend. May God be with your family," the post read.

Sterling scored a goal for Manchester City in their Champions League match against Mönchengladbach on Tuesday.

The game ended 4-2 in favour of Manchester City.

In just half an hour, Sterling's Instagram post racked up over 3000 views.

Sterling was born in Jamaica and moved to England at the age of seven.

In July, he completed his move to Manchester City from Liverpool, making him the most expensive English player.

Sterling's 5-year contract is worth L49 million (US$76 million).





imani-duncan-price-jmmb.jpgIn a move clearly demonstrating appreciation of the very high stakes that will be at play between them come election day, Senator Imani Duncan-Price, has invited her newly installed opponent for East Rural St Andrew, Juliet Holness to a meeting.

In a letter to Mrs. Holness, which was released to the media, the People's National Party (PNP) candidate Senator Duncan-Price welcomed her opponent - and wife of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Leader, Andrew Holness - to representational politics and called on her to meet with her team to discuss the Jamaica Political Code of Conduct which will guide the parties in the electioneering process.

"It is my hope that we will craft a campaign rooted in the spirit of healthy debate and dialogue which sets a solid example for our supporters and any such efforts in the future," Duncan-Price's letter said.

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"I trust that we can also agree to reach out to each other to address any concerns that arise on the ground, with the very clear understanding that our actions and reactions have the power to reverberate throughout our constituency and the nation," she added.

Duncan-Price also said she was looking to establish a "positive, exemplary working relationship" between the two candidates that would allow for a smooth working relationship in the interest of the constituency even after the general elections.

Mrs Holness was confirmed as the JLP's candidate on Monday night, a few days after she surprisingly applied formally for the position.





Alozade, Fambo, Zumjay for New York concert

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alozade.jpgOn Saturday, December 12th, Segment Entertainment in collaboration with Capcha Music presents Red Berry Concert.

The event, which is sponsored by Ciroc Red Berry, will see performances by Jamaica's very own, Alozade, Zumjay and Future Fambo, alongside several supporting acts including Martina Startina, Ital Bandit, Craigy Dread, among others.

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The show takes place at club Dubai, located at 127-19 Merrick Blvd. in Queens, New York. Selectors for the night will be Killa Boo, Love Line and Cassette Jones.

Advance tickets are now being sold for $20USD at the following locations: Genesis One Restaurant, The Doors Restaurant, Moodies Record, Ave D Cellular and Digicell. And the first 50 ladies will be allowed to enter for free providing they are at the venue before midnight.

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Autopsy reveals cause of death of JCapri

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j-capri-photo-1.jpgEntertainer J Capri has been revealed.

An autopsy which was performed on Saturday, December 5, revealed that an infection allegedly contracted subsequent to her surgeries, led to lung complications and a failed kidney which reportedly contributed to the death of 23 year old entertainer, J Capri.

On November 23, J Capri was rushed to the University Hospital of the West Indies where she reportedly underwent surgery, after suffering from what is said to be a fractured skull as well as brain damage.

The dancehall singjay died on December 4, twenty (20) days before her 24th birthday.

J Capri was known for songs inclding "Pull Up To Mi Bumpa" featuring Konshens, "Whine 'n' Kotch" featuring Charley Black, "Reverse It" and "Boom 'n" Bend Over".





The Grand Bahama Human Rights Association has questioned whether a Jamaican woman, who was arrested last weekend, was targeted by the Bahamian authorities because of an ongoing rape case and civil suit.

Eleven women from Jamaica were held early Saturday morning at a night club in New Providence, on suspicion of solicitation for prostitution and breaches of the Immigration Act.

A source told The Tribune newspaper, however, that one of the women is the complainant who made an allegation against a senior immigration officer, and Saturday's operation was not what it seemed.

The newspaper said it was informed that the 11 Jamaicans were released without charge on Sunday night.

On Saturday, the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association issued a statement, expressing concern that the complainant could be released to the agency in whose custody she was raped and assaulted.

The statement added that the woman is married to a Bahamian, has legal status in the country and there was no lawful justification for her detention.

The sexual assault allegedly occurred when the 28 year-old woman was released into the custody of an immigration officer on December 15, 2014. In February, she filed a civil suit against the Bahamas Government, seeking damages for alleged battery, assault, false imprisonment and the breach of her constitutional rights.

In her claim, the woman described a crowded and filthy detention centre without sanitary facilities.

The Jamaican has sought at least one million dollars in damages.





missing-woman-teisha-smith.jpgNineteen-year-old Teisha Smith of Cassava Walk in Albion, St. James has been missing since Sunday, December 6.

She is dark complexion, medium build and is about 168 centimetres (5 feet 6 inches) tall.

Reports received from the Montego Bay Police are that about 2:15pm, Smith was last seen at home wearing a black short dress. Efforts to contact her have proven futile.

The police have urged anyone knowing the whereabouts of Teisha Smith to contact the Montego Bay Police at 684-9080, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





hands-behind-bars.jpgCharges are to be laid against four men held following last month's disappearance of a family in St. Ann.

In a statement on Monday, the police said the men were questioned on Saturday.

They are expected to be charged with housebreaking and arson.The men were arrested after four members of a family disappeared on November 16.

It's report that residents saw the house ablaze and after the fire was extinguished there was no sign of the family.

Preliminary investigations suggest the possible cause of the fire was arson.

Missing are: Joesph Lynch, 57, Lascelle Lynch,43,Ruth Lawrence, 50 and Rimeka Haynes,7 all of Authurs Mount in the parish.





ganja-seized.jpgThe police are maintaining a strong presence in Mammee Bay, St. Ann and have strong leads following Saturday's major ganja find in the community.

The seizure has triggered a probe spanning several parishes into activities suspected to be related to the guns for drugs trade with Haiti.

According to a police statement, about 6 o'clock Saturday evening, the police, who were on special operations in the area, observed two men unloading parcels from a Toyota Rav 4.

While they were approaching the vehicle the men reportedly ran.

The vehicle and the area were searched and 26 knitted bags containing 893 pounds of ganja were found.

Thirty-one barrels of gasoline were also seized, along with the vehicle.





christopher-birch.jpgFamily and friends are mourning the senseless murder of software developer, Christopher Birch, 33, who was killed in front of his family at their Harbour View home during a robbery attempt early Monday morning.

The devoted Christian husband and father of two was surprised by at least two gunmen who entered his home at about 3am, demanded property. The thugs proceeded to shoot Birch multiple times when their demands were not met. They escaped with electronic devices including a laptop.

Tributes to Birch have been pouring in on social media since news of his death broke.His former classmates at Wolmer's Boys' School remembered him as a kind, fun-loving individual who "couldn't hurt a fly".

"He was a spiritual brother, unafraid and unashamed of speaking about the Gospel with a natural comfort that was very unusual for someone his age," Dennis Boothe, who was a member of the 1998 class with Birch, said on Facebook.

"He loved our school as we all do, but in a way that stood out even back then, and he took his job as a school prefect seriously, often leading the entire school in morning devotions. No matter who you were at Wolmer's, you knew Chris and respected him," Boothe added.

Another member of the class of 1998 and Birch's Christian "brother", Dwayne Fuller said: "I am broken by the passing of my friend and brother Christopher Birch. My prayer is for God's grace to be abundant in this time of grief."

What makes Birch's death even more difficult to accept for many is that it came at an exciting time in his life.

He recently welcomed a new addition to his family and was looking forward to next week's launch of a new version of KRAAS Images, the Caribbean stock photo agency he co-founded with Staysean Daley.

Daley was said to be overseas and unable to comment at this time. However, Jamaican tech industry pioneer Ingrid Riley said she was "really taken aback by this senseless killing" and noted that the tech community is in mourning.

"It's such a fantastic business, the Caribbean's answer to Getty Images," said Riley of KRAAS.





Canada's Next Big Move? Legalizing Pot

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ganja-smoking.jpgCanada Montreal -- For police forces across Canada, the month of August is harvest time. Officers slip on their coveralls, grab thick gardening gloves, shoulder machetes and begin the annual ritual of chopping down marijuana plants hidden in cornfields, remote mountain valleys and forest clearings.

If growers are unlucky enough to be caught red-handed, they are cuffed and taken to court. Each police unit hits two or three of these hidden marijuana plantations, with the confiscated pot taken to incinerators. The destruction of marijuana plants goes on for about two weeks, and then it's back to normal police work.

Has this war on marijuana worked?

"No, it hasn't," said Clive Weighill, chief of the Saskatoon police force, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and a veteran of the August raids.

Times, however, are beginning to change in Canada.

The new Liberal government has promised to act quickly to legalize marijuana for general use, which would make Canada the first Group of 20 country to end cannabis prohibition on a national level. Weighill is among those in favor. "We are looking to the United States and the Colorado experience, the Washington experience, and we hope to learn from that."

The opposition Conservative Party strongly opposes legalization, arguing that it would make cannabis "more easily available to youth." During the recent election campaign, former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper said marijuana is "infinitely worse" than tobacco and "is something we do not want to encourage."

But faced with a large Liberal majority supported by the socialist New Democratic Party, the Conservatives are powerless to stop legalization.

Although the war on drugs in Canada has been nowhere near as dramatic as the ones waged in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and the United States, it has nonetheless involved violence and consumed considerable financial and human resources. In the late 1990s in Montreal, an outlaw biker gang war claimed 165 lives and ended only after a crime reporter was shot seven times (he lived) and the Hells Angels threatened to assassinate politicians. The violence was all about the control of illegal drug sales, including marijuana.

The Liberals point out that more than 600,000 Canadians have criminal records for simple possession of marijuana and that the number continues to grow. They say it is a needless destruction of lives.

Each year, the federal government spends as much as 500 million Canadian dollars on drug enforcement and prosecution, according to the auditor general. About 50 million Canadian dollars go to raiding marijuana plantations. These figures do not include the money spent by provincial and municipal authorities.Yet a large number of people still use cannabis. For about a decade, studies have shown that past-year use among Canadians ages 15 to 24 is the highest in the developed world, with a recent study putting the rate at 24.6 percent. For adults 25 and over, the figure drops to 8 percent.

"Our system is badly, badly flawed," said Eugene Oscapella, a law professor at the University of Ottawa and a longtime advocate for legalization. "I keep asking myself a question that I have been asking for 30 years: 'Could we have done a worse job if we tried? Could we have found a way to create more dysfunction than we managed to create?' "

The Canadian Center on Substance Abuse, a federally funded research organization, has already cautioned against rushing into legalization. After a fact-finding mission to Colorado and Washington, the organization's answer was to "go slow."

"We have to be clear on what our goal is, why are we doing this," said Rebecca Jesseman, a specialist in performance mechanisms at the center. "Are we looking to promote public health? Are we looking to reduce youth access? Are we looking to cut out the black market? What is the primary goal, because that will also help us shape regulations, monitor our progress towards that goal and monitor our success."

She added that the center believes the dominant concern should be public health.

Canada legalized medical marijuana about 15 years ago. Canada's health department has so far issued 26 production and distribution licenses to about 20 companies. Recent mergers and acquisitions indicate an industry consolidation as companies compete for a bigger share of a still-developing business, which Canada's health department claims has about 450,000 potential daily customers. At current prices, that represents an industry worth 1.2 billion Canadian dollars - about $900 million.

Canopy Growth, which operates out of a former Hershey's chocolate factory in the small town of Smiths Falls, Ontario, recently bought two additional medical pot producers and is eager to expand into the recreational market.

So too are investors. When Justin Trudeau's Liberals won the October election, Canopy's stock price jumped to $3.65, from $1.50, before falling back to the $2.30-$2.50 range, which puts the company's value at about 220 million Canadian dollars.

Canopy, the largest medical marijuana company in Canada, has 7,300 registered medical customers and is "very well positioned" to jump into the recreational market, company founder and chief executive Bruce Linton said.

"We already have been ramping up to be ready for that," he said.

He said the medical marijuana production model should be transferred to general use. Production has to be completely natural, using no chemicals. Packaging is restrained. Sales could be made through the same type of government-owned outlets that sell alcohol in most of Canada.





The US's biggest manager of prescription drug benefits said it will cover a $1-a-capsule alternative to the anti-parasitic treatment Daraprim, which costs $750 a pill after Turing Pharmaceuticals AG raised the drug's price from $13.50 this year.

Express Scripts Holding Co. said in a statement that it's partnering with Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego-based company specializing in compounded drugs. In October, Imprimis started making a medicine for as little as $1 a capsule that includes the active ingredient in Daraprim, pyrimethamine, together with a vitamin called leucovorin that Daraprim is usually used with.

Turing's price increase for Daraprim, a decades-old drug that no longer enjoys patent protection, drew outrage from politicians, doctors and health insurers. By having a compounding pharmacy combine the two drugs, Express Scripts doesn't need to wait for an FDA-approved direct competitor to Daraprim to come to market at a lower cost.

The $750-a-pill price "wasn't acceptable," Steve Miller, chief medical officer for Express Scripts, said in an interview Monday. Using a compounded drug is "a simple, elegant solution that gets desperate patients the drugs they need at an affordable price." Miller said because Daraprim isn't needed in large quantities, Imprimis should not have a supply problem.

Safety Concern

Daraprim treats a condition called toxoplasmosis, which is caused by a parasite that can become active in people with weakened immune systems because of HIV, chemotherapy or other conditions or treatments.





Nicki Minaj posts US$100,000 bail for her brother

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nicki-minaj-photo-7.jpgIt's emerged that Nicki Minaj paid $100,000 for her brother's bail last week, after he was charged with the rape of a 12- year old girl.

The case itself has been going on since April, with Jelani Miraj due to appear in court on December 9th this year.

The bond is backed by two homes that Nicki - who's apparently super close to her brother - owns.

Nicki is used to supporting her brother - she allegedly paid $30,000 for his wedding this year, as well as letting him live in one of her houses.

The pair were close as children, living with their abusive father until 1987, before moving to New York with their mother when Jelani was 10.

"Nicki's at a loss for words at her brother's situation," a source told Hollywood Life. "Her heart has dropped. She loves her brother terribly and is hoping these charges will be proven false."





Chi Ching Ching meets in accident in St Mary

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chi-ching.jpgChi Ching Ching's car is a total wreck, but, by some divine power, the entertainer and his friends who were onboard walked away unhurt following an accident in Stewart Town St. Mary very early Friday morning.

According to reports, the artiste who recently signed to Popcaan's Unruly Entertainment label, had just finished performing at a show in Montego Bay and was on his way to Kingston to look about his US work permit when the accident occurred.

"The greatest thing is that I'm alive and nobody was hurt," Chi Ching Ching said.

He is promoting his new single and slang "Get There".





allan-skill-cole.jpg65-year-old Allan "Skill" Cole, who, for decades, has been in a tussle with Island Records cofounder Chris Blackwell over unpaid royalties is cautiously happy that there is finally some sort of agreement.

"We are in the process of coming to an understanding an' settlement over songs not written by Bob, or co-written by Bob," said Cole.

The songs involved are Zimbabwe, credited to Marley on his 1979 album, Survival, but actually written by Donald Leach; War, Johnny Was, Rat Race and Time Will Tell.

Cole is credited as writer of War, from Rastaman Vibration, Marley's 1976 album. Though he claims to have co-written Johnny Was and Rat Race (also on Rastaman Vibration) and Time Will Tell (from 1978's Kaya) with Marley, his name does not appear in the composers bracket.

The albums were distributed by Island.

Cole, who first met Blackwell in the early 1970s, is relieved that there will finally be closure to a bitter issue. He stressed that there is a lesson to be learned from It, especially for upcoming songwriters.

"We an' Bob did have a different understanding... As Rasta wi neva deal wid certain thing," said Cole. "To us, a man word is him covenant."

Considered one of Jamaica's finest footballers, Cole was a key member of Marley's inner circle. They first met in 1969, with Cole acting as manager of Wailers, the group which included Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny 'Wailers' Livingston.

When Marley went solo in 1973, Cole became his road manager.

He was the reggae star's road manager for his final tour in 1980, just months before Marley died from cancer in a Miami hospital in May 1981 at age 36.





mark-golding-ganja-law.jpgJustice Minister Senator Mark Golding has put to rest speculation that the Government could soon change the definition of marriage in Jamaica.

Jamaican law defines marriage as being a legal union between a man and a woman.

However, with changes being made to that definition in other jurisdictions to allow for same sex marriage, Senator Golding indicates similar moves are not being contemplated for Jamaica.

"I don't think that will change in the foreseeable future.," Golding said.

Golding was speaking at a recently held Molynes Garden Citizens Association town hall meeting in St Andrew.

The Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Central constituency, Dr Peter Phillips, who was also speaking at the town hall meeting, says while he strongly supports the continuation of marriage in Jamaica between a man and a woman, the decay of the family structure is a more urgent cause for concern.

He said family life in Jamaica is facing a crisis which must be arrested as part of the development of the country.

"We are not having settled families, 89 percent of births in Jamaica are to a single parent - that is the big crisis that we face,"

He said other statistics showing that 20 percent of all births are due to teenagers is another issue that will cause persistent poverty.

The Justice Minister has lamented that a lack of discipline in society, is part of the reason for backlogs in an already overburdened court system.

He said of the many who use the court system, they do not respect the court's time and that causes some of the delays in administering justice.

He added that despite the backlog, efforts are being made to identify areas that cause delay and eliminate them.





zika-virus.jpgHealth Minister Horace Dalley has announced that the Ministry will be hiring and training one thousand young people as vector control workers.

They will go into communities, and along with the Ministry's vector control teams, identify and destroy mosquito breeding sites. Mr. Dalley has also charged senior officials in the Ministry to prepare the public in the event the Zika virus is detected in Jamaica.

The Health Minister announced these initiatives at a National Training Seminar to prepare the health sector for the Zika virus, which is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The symptoms include severe fever, joint and muscle pains, headaches, rashes and conjunctivitis. The symptoms appear within three to 12 days following a bite.





St James tops the 'murder list' islandwide for 2015

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crime-scene-gun.jpgCrime figures shave revealed that the parish of St James has had the highest incidence of murders this year, with more that 200 murders since January. This compared to 142 homicides during the corresponding period last year.

Hanover has recorded 59 murders, when compared to 35 last year, and Westmoreland, 99, versus 46 last year.

With under a month remaining in the year, the country's murder tally is now 1130, up from 937 during the corresponding period in 2014.

The figures do show a containment in homicides since the authorities deployed military personnel to western Jamaica and parts of central Jamaica.

Montego Bay, which is the capital of St James is Jamaica's second city and also a popular tourist desstination.





crime-scene-gun.jpgFive kindergarten students were left traumatised after the taxi transporting them to school was shot up by gunmen in Salt Spring, St James early Friday - killing the driver.

The police report that shortly after 7 am the driver picked up the students at Repasture Lane in the community.

Shortly after, he was attacked by gunmen who opened fire at him.He reportedly got out of the car and ran into a house, where he was chased and killed .

The children who ran from the vehicle, were assisted by residents

The name of the driver has not been released.





Veterans to rule at Sting 2015 'From Then Til Now'

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sting-launch.jpgA powerful line-up of veteran artistes will perform at the 32nd staging of the greatest one-night reggae dancehall show on Earth, Sting, to be held on Boxing Day at the Jamworld complex in Portmore, St Catherine.

Speaking at the launch on Tuesday at Chris Gayle's Triple Century sports bar in New Kingston, CEO of Supreme Promotions, Isaiah Laing told the large gathering that they are selling an experience that has not been seen for a long time.

"The theme is 'From Then Till Now', the people who made thousands of people come out to Sting, we are trying to see if we can reenact some of that," Laing said.

The event will feature a midnight clash with singers Frankie Paul and Half Pint. Other acts include Burro Banton, Major Mackerel, Brigadier Jerry, Charlie Chaplin, Courtney Melody, Pinchers, Lady Junie, Lady G, Country Speng (now renamed Speng Beng), Little John and Tiger, to name a few.

Tributes will be paid to Vybz Kartel and Buju Banton.

According to Isaiah Laing, the annual Boxing Day gala, which has been staged consistently for over three decades, has no major sponsors this year, but the show must go on. Interesting, seen among the huge crowd was Downsound Records' Josef Bogdanovich, who had thrown his financial weight behind the event for two years, prior to pulling out in 2014.

With regards to staging Sting, Laing noted, "It is something we have to do...cause if I ask which is the number one song in Jamaica right now, you can't tell me. There is nothing happening out there as far as I am concerned, so I am going back to the people who made things happen."





Was PNP activist's killing ordered by jailed don?

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don-ordered-killing-sadie-forbes.jpgAn investigation has been launched into reports that a convicted gangster ordered the murder of People's National Party activist, Sadie Forbes.

Jones was killed in Newlands, St Catherine on Tuesday after reportedly objecting to green flags, which represents the Jamaica Labour Party, being placed at her gate.

It is being alleged that Forbes refused to answer a phone call from the gangster and was gunned down less than half an hour afterwards.

The gang leader is serving more than 30 years in prison.

The police have identified suspects in the murder and are hunting them down.

Forbes was shot multiple times as she walked in the community. She was pronounced dead at the Spanish Town Hospital.

Minutes after Forbes was killed, persons attacked a newspaper vendor, Jermaine Vassell, also called 'Copper' and stabbed him to death.

The killings have reportedly heightened political tensions in the community. It was fueled by Senate president Floyd Morris who declared on Facebook on Tuesday that "...We have just experienced the killing of one of our members who was brutally shot by thugs and cowards who turned the gun on a supporter of the PNP because, as reported, she took down a flag that was posted at her gate by members of the JLP."





us-man-missing-stephen-staker.jpgA search has been launched for 20-year-old American national Stephen Staker, who has been missing since Thursday, December 03.

According to the Falmouth Police, Staker, who was a passenger on-board a vessel docked at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier in the parish, reportedly disembarked the vessel around 4:30pm and has not been seen since.

His mode of dress at the time he went missing is unknown.

The police have urged anyone knowing the whereabouts of Stephen Staker to contact the Falmouth Police at 954-3271, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





Dancehall artiste JCapri is dead

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j-capri-photo-4.jpgDancehall artiste J Capri has succumbed to injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle accident last week.

The 23-year-old had been in an induced coma since last Monday, after her Mercedes Benz slammed into a wall and overturned on Barbican Road in St Andrew.

News of the artiste's death hit fans and the entertainment fraternity hard on Friday morning, against the background of earlier reports that doctors at the University Hospital of the West Indies, where the singer was hospitalised, believed there was a strong possibility for full recovery.

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Fellow female dancehall artiste Vanessa Saddler, who goes by the stage name Vanessa Bling, was among several entertainers who posted tributes to J Capri. Saddler noted that she "woke up to a sad call".

"It's sooo sad to say good bye," Saddler said in a post on social media, accompanied by a photo of the late artiste. "I knw u family taking it hard rite now..But I pray God will keep n protect them...may ur soul rip."

Another female artiste, Tifa said: "Sing with the angels doll".

J Capri, real name Jordan Phillips, is known for songs such as Wine and Kotch with Charly Blacks, Pull Up To Mi Bumpa with Konshens and more recently, Boom and Ben Over. She was a past student of Wolmer's Girls' School.





Entertainment fraternity pays tribute to JCapri

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j-capri-photo-1.jpgWe here at YardFlex are saddened by the loss of this talented artistes whose death will surely leave a void in the music industry. Condolences to JCapri's family and extened family of artistes, musicians, producers, promoters and all who had a role in helping her to live her dream. May her soul rest in peace.

Lady Saw: My heart is saddened .. I met her in July at Hype TV and she was bubbly so full of life and into character before she went on to perform .. My heart goes out to her family and friends #R.IP Jcapri

Bounty Killer: JAH KNOW JAH ONLY YOU KNOW! R.I.P Artist : J Capri. Gone Too Soon

j-capri-photo-2.jpgKonshens: Cut way too short but God know everything. RIP. Condolences to the family and friends. saw what you did what you were doing and what you were about to do. I hope Jamaica,Dancehall and music lovers worldwide understand who and WHAT we just lost.

Skatta Burrell: #gonetoosoon up this morning to this awful news. Anyone who knew @jcapri_hcr will tell you she's more than a beautiful Soul. I can only say condolences to all her friends and family because no words will ever take away the heartache they feeling. #LifeIs2short #CherishYourLifeFolks

Reggae Sumfest: #teamSumfest mourns the loss of one of dancehall music's rising stars J Capri. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and management team #RIP #reggaesumfest2015

Meanwhile, dancehall artiste Charly Black with whom she did one of her hit songs, Whine and Kotch, refused to believe the sad news.

"I won't accept this news right now ok," he wrote.





oscar-pistorius-photo-1.jpgOscar Pistorius was found guilty of murder on Thursday after South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal threw out a manslaughter conviction for killing his girlfriend, and he now faces a 15-year prison term.

The judge described the Paralympian's testimony over the 2013 shooting of Reeva Steenkamp as "untruthful" and delivered a damning indictment of the original verdict. The double-amputee athlete known as the "Blade Runner" was released on parole in October after serving one year of his five-year prison sentence for the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

He killed Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in the early hours of Valentine's Day two years ago, saying he mistook her for an intruder when he shot four times through the locked door of his bedroom toilet.

"Guilty of murder, with the accused having criminal intent," judge Eric Leach told the court in South Africa's judicial capital Bloemfontein in a dramatic legal reversal.

"The matter is referred back to the trial court to consider an appropriate sentence."

The Paralympic gold medallist, who was not present in court, now faces a minimum 15-year sentence for murder -- although he could be released earlier on parole.

"It is inconceivable that a rational person thought he was entitled to fire at this person with a heavy-duty firearm," said Leach, who described Pistorius's testimony as "vacillating and untruthful".

"He ought to have been convicted not of culpable homicide... but of culpable murder," the judge added.

The National Prosecuting Authority confirmed that Pistorius, 29, will remain on parole under house arrest at his uncle's mansion in the capital Pretoria until he is re-sentenced.

"I'm satisfied with everything," Reeva's father Barry Steenkamp told reporters shortly after the unanimous ruling by five appeal court judges.

Her mother June sat quietly in court with a sombre expression as the ruling was announced, and made no immediate comment afterwards.

At the crux of the case was how trial judge Thokozile Masipa interpreted the principle of "dolus eventualis" -- awareness of the likely outcome of an action -- under which she acquitted Pistorius of murder.

"This was expected. Judge Masipa legally got the whole issue completely wrong," William Booth, a defence lawyer based in Cape Town, told AFP.

"Four shots into a tiny toilet when you know somebody is on the other side -- that person shooting knows he is going to hit the person.

"He faces a minimum of 15 years. My feeling is that he's done a year, so looking at all the factors, maybe nine, 10 years in prison."

The trial of Pistorius, who became a global icon as the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics in 2012, attracted worldwide attention. He denied killing Steenkamp, 29, in a rage after the couple had gone to bed, sobbing and occasionally vomiting in the dock as details of his lover's death were examined in excruciating detail.

"I was overcome with fear," he said during his trial last year, describing how he thought he heard an intruder in the bathroom.

He grabbed his gun, and rushed without his prostheses to the bathroom.

"Before I knew it, I'd fired four shots at the door," he said, adding that he ran back to the bed only to find that Steenkamp was not there.

Pistorius killed Steenkamp at the peak of his fame, and he has since lost his glittering sports career, lucrative contracts and status as a global role model for the disabled.

Last month he made his first appearance in public since leaving jail, looking gaunt when he reported for community service at a Pretoria police station.The case triggered fierce debate in South Africa about violence against women, and activists from the ruling ANC party's women's league packed the public benches throughout the long case.

"I'm overwhelmed. The women of South Africa, the women of the whole world, have won today," league spokeswoman Mapaseka Nkoane said outside the court.





black-man-gunned-down-san-francisco-street.jpgA black man was gunned down in the street by police after he was surrounded by officers in a San Francisco street.

Police Chief Gregory Suhr confirmed the man, who was holding a knife, was killed after the shooting in Bayview at around 5pm on Wednesday.

His description is said to have matched that of a suspected wanted for stabbing someone in a nearby street.

Now a graphic video, which has not yet been verified by police, has emerged on social media which shows a man as he is surrounded by around eight armed police officers.

Standing on the sidewalk with his back up against a wall, he suddenly appears to double over.

But the man, who appears to be dazed, stands up again and begins to shuffle away - while the cops have the guns raised and trained on him.

The camera then cuts away as a barrage of bullets are heard while people are heard screaming in the background.

Police blocked off the intersection of Third Street and Gilman Avenue in San Francisco and Munli trains were halted as they responded to the incident.

San Francisco Police Department Chief Suhr said officers fired beanbags at the man and used attempted other non-lethal force before they opened fire.

'It looks like an execution,' a local resident who told the San Francisco Police Commission, reported The Daily Beast. 'This is why we need the cameras and the video.'

Department of Public Health workers, who are typically sent out to assist families after a violent death, were at the scene in Bayview.

The footage follows a series of high profile police shootings which have sparked Black Lives Matter across the country.

Just two days before the San Francisco incident, Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

The charge came after footage of him shooting black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times on the night of October 20 last year was made public by order of a judge.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets within hours of the video's release, chanting '16 shots' and forming human blockades across roads in the city's West Side. Other demonstrators gathered outside police stations as at least two people were arrested in connection to the protests.

Chicago police chief Garry McCarthy was sacked on Tuesday over his handling of the case while Mayor Rahm Emanuel now faces pressure to stand down over the incident.

The case is certain to be one of the most contentious to reach the courts since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.

VIDEO LINK:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3343872/It-looks-like-execution-Cops-surround-gun-black-man-San-Francisco-street.html#v-1132948120880135237





Supa Hype turns brand ambassador

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supa-hype-photo-1.jpgRadio disc jock at SunCity FM and host of Hype TV's Up and Live, Supa Hype, recently signed a endorsement deal to become the brand ambassador of Reggae Grabba Blunts, Reddi-Grabba Leaves and Blue Mountain cigars.

Reggae Grabba is a premium hand-rolled blunt cigar made from 100 per cent tobacco and dipped in a variety of flavours, including Hennessy, Red Rum and Strawberry. Reddi leaves area conveniently packaged in a set of three pure tobacco leaves in the popular grabba, while Blue Mountain Cigars are traditional hand-rolled tobacco cigars.

Didd Exchange the Montego Bay-based distributors of the brands, is expecting more people to become aware of its products by the association with Hype, who as of late is enjoying a surge in popularity and media gigs.

Recently, D'Angel and I-Octane also signed new endorsement deals.





Palisadoes Strip approved as entertainment zone

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palisadoes-strip-entertainment-zone.jpgThe Palisadoes Strip in Kingston, Jamaica, has been approved by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) for designation as Jamaica's first entertainment zone.

State Minister in the Ministry of Entertainment, Damion Crawford, in response, said the approval by NEPA was timely, given the number of events expected to take place during the upcoming Christmas season.

NEPA has put measures in place to ensure that protection of the environment is given priority during the staging of entertainment events in the area.

The Palisadoes zone was one of seven areas in Kingston that were tested and declared suitable to host recreational and heritage activities. The move to establish entertainment zones is to allow for the staging of events under limited restrictions in terms of lock-off time, and prevent breaches of the Noise Abatement Act.





radijah-blood-donation-to-j-capri.jpgThe National Blood Transfusion Service - the Blood bank - refused to allow dancehall artiste Radijah to donate blood for fellow artiste J Capri recently.

According to the police, "if you have had a tattoo in the past 12 months, then you can't give blood".

"I really wanted to give blood for J Capri because she is an artiste like me but I was shocked when they told me that I couldn't give blood because I had got a tattoo in the past 12 months. I guess they must have their reasons but this is the 21st century, why can't they just do a test to see if everything is right, so I can give blood," he said.

"At Christmas time, it is critical that members of the public come forward and give blood because we have a lot of accidents, and other tragedies at this time, so even though I can't give, I want to encourage others to give."

J Capri, 23, whose given name Jordan Phillips, was hospitalised last Sunday after her vehicle overturned. Reports said a car she was driving slammed into a wall in Barbican Square about 3am. She was rushed to hospital following the collision.





weed-seed.jpgSunCity radio disc jock Patrick 'Weed Seed' Billings says he was not held in a raid while in the United States recently, and was never charged for any wrongdoing, as is being reported on numerous websites and blogs.

The report is that the disc jock was held after authorities swooped down on premises and found over US$1,000,000. Weed Seed was in Florida for a stint, promoting his My Life mixtape, following which he would have made stops in New York and Washington. However, he was forced to cut his travel plans short and return to Jamaica due to negative impact associated with the rumour.

According to a spokeperson from the Broward Sheriff County Office, the last Patrick Billings in their system was from 2003 and was much older than the sunjock.

The disc jock said that two shows were recently cancelled after the promoter learnt that his name was embroiled in arrest.

"The promoter said he had to rectify the situation and so the other shows were cancelled," said Billings.

He is contemplating legal action against the websites and blogs which have published the misleading information.





facebook-zuckerberg-tax-avoidance-culprit.jpgOnce, it was enough to put a notice in the newspaper when your child was born. But Mark Zuckerberg, the multi-billionaire founder of Facebook, likes to do things differently.

So he welcomed his newborn daughter, Max, into the world with an open letter on his social media site, in which he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to donate almost all their L30 billion fortune to charity during their lives.

The happy couple talked rather smugly about how their first child gave them cause to reflect on the future, saying they were inspired by their desire to build a better world and because they have a 'moral responsibility to all children in the next generation'.

Within hours, more than one million Facebook devotees demonstrated their 'like' of this noble gesture, among them the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Melinda Gates, wife of fellow mega-rich philanthropist Bill Gates.

There was, of course, an outpouring of praise - particularly online - for this latest plutocrat declaring his intention to hand over great wealth.

Zuckerberg, 31, is the most recent in a growing line of digital billionaires turning to charity, and their giveaways are almost always a public, rather than a private, event played out on social media.

He and his wife deserve credit, of course, for pledging to use their huge mountain of cash to help wider humanity rather than frittering it away on a life of fun.

Yet there is a dark side to this trend. For behind it lies the sanctimonious hypocrisy of billionaires who build vast fortunes with firms that avoid the taxes paid by the rest of society, then arrogantly think they are best placed to solve the planet's problems.

Zuckerberg talked in his letter of creating stronger communities. Yet Facebook, like too many technology behemoths, is a serial tax avoider undermining government through its stubborn refusal to pay its fair share to society.

Last year, this all-conquering social media firm handed over just L4,327 in corporation tax in this country: less than the annual sum paid in tax by the average worker.

Yet its staff in Britain took home an average L210,000 each in pay and bonuses, safe in the security of a society that relies on public servants to protect them from terror, provide health care in hospitals and repair the roads on which they travel to work.

The Facebook founder has hailed Bill Gates as his hero - the world's richest man, who has been revered as something close to a secular saint after promising to give away the bulk of his L57 billion fortune.

But Gates became rich from a company that was even used as a case study for a U.S. Senate inquiry into tax avoidance.

Microsoft was accused of avoiding paying L3 billion annually in tax by shifting earnings around between low-tax nations. In Britain alone, it reported L1.7 billion revenues in one year for online sales of software, on which it paid no corporation tax. Zilch.

Gates even has the gall to tour the world telling governments to take more and more money from taxpayers for his beloved foreign aid programmes, once even branding those who oppose such policies as 'evil'.

However noble the intentions of Zuckerberg and Gates, it is pure hypocrisy to claim moral leadership while raking in immense wealth from companies engaged in such base tactics.

Online, there have been some harsh comments regarding Zuckerberg making a gift to his own chairty as a means of continued tax avoidance: "As a tax paying citizen of the US this annoys me. Pay your taxes Facebook," one reader commented.

Another explained: "It gets much worse than this. those facebook shares are worth 45 billion, if he sells them he is due to pay about 20 billion is capital gains tax. if he gifts them ti a charity there is no capital gains tax. so what you may say.... hes give 45 billion to charity, yes - but HE OWNS the charity. he controls all the charitys expenses. he has the use if all its private jets, property, exoense account. and no doubt his child wil be the next ceo ofthe charity. all paid for by the 20 billion tax he avoided

"And when the super-rich do "donate", they usually give to their own foundations which is another tax scam. They get a current income tax deduction yet the foundation only has to give a small fraction of its assets for charitable purposes and can retain the rest basically forever. This allows them to brag about their generosity while they and their descendants can still control the "donated" assets perpetually."





Former Minister of Health and current Member of Parliament (MP) for West Central St Catherine, Dr Ken Baugh is slowly recovering from brain surgery which he recently underwent at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) general secretary, Dr Horace Chang, who is a medical doctor, on Wednesday said Dr Baugh, the party's spokesman on health, was taken out of an induced coma over recent days, and is in a stable condition at the hospital.

A team of local surgeons performed the emergency operation on Dr Baugh on November 13, following which there were complications after his initial progress. This resulted in him being taken into the hospital's intensive care unit.

A former Cabinet member in more than one JLP Administration, Dr Baugh has also served as deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade.





superintendent-of-police.jpgThe police are keeping a close watch on Newlands in Portmore, St. Catherine, following claims that two killings in the community on Tuesday may have been politically motivated.

The incidents, which took place two hours apart, happened amid increasing political tensions in the community. However, the police have not been able to confirm whether the killings are connected or linked to politics.

In the first incident, which occurred about 6:30, a woman, identified as Sandy Forbes, of Newlands, was found suffering from bullet wounds. She was pronounced dead at Spanish Town Hospital.

Senior Superintendent Noel Christie, head of the St. Catherine South Police, told RJR News that Ms Forbes had made a report to the Bridgeport Police on Sunday about political flags in the community.

In the second incident, a man was found suffering from stab wounds at his home in Newlands. Investigators believe he was stabbed elsewhere and ran to his home where he collapsed.

Several persons have been detained in a joint police military operation that is now underway in the community in search of the persons involved in the murders.

Superintendent Christie told RJR News that additional police have been deployed to the community, in response to the increased political tension.





Government prepares to copyright Jamaican ganja

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ganja-image-1.jpgJamaica is preparing to register ganja as a geographic indication (GI), according to investment minister Anthony Hylton.

The move comes amid launching the island's first GI for jerk. GI gives the highest level of international legal protection of products from counterfeit and duplication.

Already, Jamaica has signed a bi-lateral agreement with the Swiss Government for the registration of medicinal marijuana as a GI.

"Of immediate focus is, therefore, the expansion of our bilateral agreements for the protection of medicinal marijuana," Hylton told a gathering at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel last week to launch the jerk GI.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we already possess the traditional knowledge where our people use ganja for the cure of asthma and various ailments. The registration of medicinal marijuana as a GI is the next step in the development and monetization of this industry."

He said that Jamaica has several potential GIs including Cocoa, Pimento, Ginger, Castor Oil, Jamaican "Roots" Wines, Logwood Honey and Ganja.

"The registration of Jamaican Jerk as a GI is therefore the first step towards increasing the registration of other Jamaican GI's," he said.





imani-duncan-price-jmmb.jpgJMMB Group has advised that Imani Duncan-Price, the company's Group Strategy Chief Officer, tendered her resignation effective November 27, 2015. It's the official departure of Duncan-Price, who will represent the PNP in the next General Elections.

"Mrs Duncan-Price would be joining the People's National Party to represent the St. Andrew East Rural constituency in the next general election," stated JMMB.

Duncan-Price is the daughter of PNP stalwart Dr DK Duncan. She joined JMMB Group as Group Strategy Manager & Manager, Corporate Solutions, and then as Group Marketing Manager led the brand and marketing strategies across the region.

She was promoted to Group Chief Strategy Officer with responsibility for developing corporate strategies and ensuring alignment among the various subsidiaries to enable sustainable profitable growth for the diverse business lines in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago.

Duncan Price was listed among the 187 under forty leaders worldwide selected by the World Economic Forum as 2015 Young Global Leaders (YGL). She is a founding member of the Caribbean Policy Research Institute, a Board Director of the National Parenting Support Council and of the Y.U.T.E. (Youth Upliftment Through Employment) Programme and a Senator with the Government of Jamaica.

She holds a BA in Economics and a Master's degree in International Development from Harvard University. She is a former Miss Jamaica.

She will likely face Juliet Holness, the wife of Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, for the East Rural St Andrew seat. Mrs Holness submitted her application to contest the seat on Wednesday.





Andrew Holness' wife to run for MP?

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holness-juliet.jpgJuliet Holness, wife of Opposition Leader Andrew Holness' is being considered to represent the party in St Andrew East Rural.

However, reliable sources insisted that there has been no confirmation of her candidacy as, while Labourites in the constituency have been clamouring for her to be the party's standard-bearer in the next general election, she has not yet responded to their request.

The JLP leader reportedly had consultations with members of the parliamentary group through most of yesterday and obviously got a consensus on Mrs Holness's candidacy.

According to the sources, Mrs Holness and a team had been working in the constituency with Senator Alexander Williams, who had been the party's candidate in the constituency up to yesterday when he announced his resignation. Williams is expected to make a statement byThursday about his decision.

Juliet Holness, an accountant by occupation and a former student of St Catherine High School, married Andrew Holness -- Jamaica's ninth prime minister -- in 1997. They have two children, Adam and Andrew Jnr.

The ruling People's National Party (PNP) recently replaced businessman Peter Blake with Government Senator Imani Duncan-Price in the St Andrew East Rural constituency for the next general election.

Duncan-Price is the daughter of former PNP Cabinet minister and veteran member of Parliament Dr DK Duncan.

St Andrew East Rural is currently represented by the PNP's Damion Crawford, who was beaten by Blake in an acrimonious selection contest on October 4.





On December 12th, 2015 Texas based record label City Rock Entertainment's artists will be delivering holiday cheers to the children of the Jamaican orphanage at the SOS Children's Villages Jamaica.

SOS Children's Villages is an independent, non-governmental international development organization which has been working to meet the needs and protect the interests and rights of children since 1949. The children have many basic needs that City Rock Entertainment hope to help alleviate, and also bring musical cheers with the help of City Rock Ent reggae and dancehall artists Delus, Tabeta CShae and Humility.

"I've always taken the Luke 12:48 scripture "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" to heart" explained City Rock Entertainment CEO Marlon Baugh. "We often take having a family for granted, I can only imagine how it feels for those children during the holidays. I am thankful for all my blessings and how can I have so much without given back. I'm not even talking about toys, I am talking about basic needs such as toiletries, bedding. My team and I just want to make a difference, see a smile."

SOS Children's Villages Jamaica.
Old Stony Hill Road
Kingston 9
Jamaica
http://sos-jamaica.org

You can give children a second chance in life.

If you choose to sponsor a child with SOS Children's Villages, you will be directly supporting an orphaned or abandoned child. For SOS Children, the word "sponsor" means money is for "supporting" or "helping to pay for" a child in need. 100% of child sponsorship donations with SOS Children go into a pot from which the child and their new family are clothed, fed, educated and loved. The sponsor gets information about the child, can write and visit and see what difference their money makes.





Zika virus spreading in the Americas

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zika-virus.jpgNews is emerging that the mosquito-borne Zika virus has spread to more countries in the Americas. Following cases in Brazil, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it has been notified of Zika virus infections in Guatemala and El Salvador. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the findings.

Media reports suggest that cases of the virus have also been detected in Paraguay and Venezuela.

Brazil-one of the hardest hit countries-reported more microcephaly cases, which health officials suspect might be related to infections in pregnant women. Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and gender.

Zika virus infections, spread by Aedes mosquitoes, have rapidly spread to new parts of the Americas since last year and continues to sicken people in other parts of the world. Symptoms are similar to dengue fever, but usually milder, lasting four to seven days.

The World Health Organisation has urged countries in the Americas to maintain the capacity to detect Zika cases and prepare their health systems to take on more burdens, arising from the disease.

Some of the other locations reporting cases this year include Colombia, Suriname, Cape Verde, Fiji and Indonesia.

Jamaica's Ministry of Health has been conducting preparedness activities for the possible spread of the Zika virus to Jamaica. Speaking on RJR's programme Doctors' Orders on Sunday, Dr Winston Dawes, former Chief Medical Officer at the May Pen Hospital, warned that the virus could trigger an increase in stillbirths and birth defects in Jamaica.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwenty-four year old Vinnel Brown has been charged with the November 16 murder of six year-old Daniel Anderson, in Runaway Bay, St Ann.

Brown, a resident of Mount Edgecombe, was charged on Tuesday afternoon, having been pointed out in an identification parade on Monday. He will be taken to court later this week.

Brown was picked up last week, following investigations into the murder of the six year-old, whose body was found in a gully in Mount Edgecombe, two weeks ago.

Daniel's body, which had chop wounds, was found a day after he was reported missing.





It's a boy for Peter Bunting an wife Anuscha Mai

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peter-bunting-and-wife.jpgAnushca Mai, wife of Security Minister Peter Bunting, gave birth to a baby boy in Miami on Tuesday.

The two were recently married at a private ceremony.

Bunting, who was formerly married to Janine Ewart, has two other children - Brent and Emma Bunting.





shoshane-rattigan-gun-attack-victim-bronx-new-york-photo-1.jpgA 28-year-old Bronx woman, who is originally from St. Ann, Jamaica was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend early Tuesday as the couple's 6-year-old son sat in the next room, police sources said.

Now cops are looking for the 30-year-old ex, who has been accused of harming victim Shoshane Rattigan before, horrified neighbors said.

"At night she would run downstairs and say, 'He's beating me! He's beating me!" said downstairs neighbor Joanna Volpicelli, 74. "I was shaking this morning when I heard about (her death)."

Rattigan, who is a nurse and attended the Golden Grove Primary and Marcus Garvey High Schools in Jamaica, was reportedly arguing with her ex inside the apartment on Bogart Ave. at about 4 a.m. when he fired off one round - striking her in the head, officials said.

Rattigan died at the scene.

shoshane-rattigan-gun-attack-victim-bronx-new-york-photo-2.jpg

Her young son and a 20-year-old cousin were in another room and did not witness the horrific killing, police sources said. The child told police that all he heard was a popping noise.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately disclosed, but who reportedly goes by the name 'Sonny',sped away with the gun in a Honda Odyssey and has not been caught.

Cops had been called to calm the quarreling couple on four separate occasions - twice this year alone - but no charges were ever filed against either of them, police said. Rattigan had even filed a rape complaint against her ex at one time but withdrew it before he was charged, according to police sources.

Neighbors said Rattigan and her former boyfriend - who lived a few blocks away - fought often but always made up. Volpicelli's daughter Lyn Volpicelli, 48, said Rattigan's ex "creeped" her out.

"He had this weird glazed look over his eyes," she said. "He just had that evil look in his eyes. He was calm but looked like he could snap at any moment."

Rattigan, the younger Volpicelli said, was exactly the opposite.

"She was very quiet, you never really saw her," she said.

Rattigan and her beau even fought when he moved her into the Bogart Ave. address more than six months ago.

"He was screaming, 'Be careful with the f------ door! Watch the f------ furniture!'" neighbor Mike Manzo, 58, said. "He was yelling at her for the stupidest reasons. He was very degrading. You just don't talk to women the way he was."

"I kept my distance," he added. "I thought, 'This is not the type of person I want to deal with.' I just hope they catch this guy."





the-turkey-residents-sone-who-funds-isis.jpgRussia's Sergey Lavrov is not one foreign minister known to mince his words. Just 24 hours after a Russian plane was brought down by the country whose president three years ago said "a short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack", had this to say: "We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident and believe this is a planned provocation" by Turkey.

But even that was tame compared to what Lavrov said to his Turkish counterparty Mevlut Cavusoglu during a phone call between the two (Lavrov who was supposed to travel to Turkey has since canceled such plans).

As Sputnik transcribes, according to a press release from Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lavrov pointed out that, "by shooting down a Russian plane on a counter-terrorist mission of the Russian Aerospace Force in Syria, and one that did not violate Turkey's airspace, the Turkish government has in effect sided with ISIS."

It was in this context when Lavrov added that "Turkey's actions appear premeditated, planned, and undertaken with a specific objective."

More importantly, Lavrov pointed to Turkey's role in the propping up the terror network through the oil trade. Per the Russian statement:

"The Russian Minister reminded his counterpart about Turkey's involvement in the ISIS' illegal trade in oil, which is transported via the area where the Russian plane was shot down, and about the terrorist infrastructure, arms and munitions depots and control centers that are also located there."

Others reaffirmed Lavrov's stance, such as retired French General Dominique Trinquand, who said that "Turkey is either not fighting ISIL at all or very little, and does not interfere with different types of smuggling that takes place on its border, be it oil, phosphate, cotton or people," he said.

The reason we find this line of questioning fascinating is that just last week in the aftermath of the French terror attack but long before the Turkish downing of the Russian jet, we wrote about "The Most Important Question About ISIS That Nobody Is Asking" in which we asked who is the one "breaching every known law of funding terrorism when buying ISIS crude, almost certainly with the tacit approval by various "western alliance" governments, and why is it that these governments have allowed said middleman to continue funding ISIS for as long as it has?"

Precisely one week later, in even more tragic circumstances, suddenly everyone is asking this question.

And while we patiently dig to find who the on and offshore "commodity trading" middleman are, who cart away ISIS oil to European and other international markets in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars, one name keeps popping up as the primary culprit of regional demand for the Islamic State's "terrorist oil" - that of Turkish president Recep Erdogan's son: Bilal Erdogan.

Necmettin Bilal Erdogan, commonly known as Bilal Erdogan (born 23 April 1980) is the third child of Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, the current President of Turkey.

After graduating from Kartal Imam Hatip High School in 1999, Bilal Erdogan moved to the US for undergraduate education. He also earned a Masters Degree in John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2004. After graduation, he served in the World Bank as intern for a while. He returned Turkey in 2006 and started to his business life. Bilal Erdogan is one of the three equal shareholders of "BMZ Group Denizcilik ", a marine transportation corporation.





Reggae singer Oriel remains 'Confident'

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oriel-confidence-ep.jpgHaving enjoyed a tremendous year which included releasing two separate EP projects on the same day, performing an acoustic session on Sirius XM and making his debut at three major festivals- Rebel Salute in January, Reggae Sumfest in July and Montreal Reggaefest in August - Dominican reggae artiste, Oriel, is quite happy with the progress he has made so far.

However, the singer, who is based in Pittsburg, USA, is not resting on his laurels. He remains in full promotional mode as he continues the media blitz for his two EP's 'Love SoulJah' and 'Confidence 2.0', each of which focuses on a different side of the prolific artiste. One EP targets the ladies and explores themes including love and the man and woman relationships, while the other is more didactic and speaks to sociopolitical topics.

Also high on Oriel's list of priorities right now is catapulting the single Confidence into the top tier of music charts around the world. Confidence, a soulful single with a poignant hook, is Oriel's breakthrough song which was initially released in 2012 and was co-produced by his Afar Music Group label mate Lloyd "Cookie" Willacy, who used to play for reggae legend, Dennis Emmanuel Brown. The decision was made, however, to refocus the spotlight on this single, even as they pushed the single Cruise, the video for which has now been added to MTV.com and VH1Soul.

According to Oriel, who describes his music as reggae fusion, "Confidence got a lot of love when it was released a few years ago, but we know that it has vast potential...way beyond what it has already achieved."

He explained, "We subsequently did a fresh mix, put on some background vocals and had it re-mastered by Grammy nominated UK producer Daniel Boyle for the Confidence 2.0 EP, which is really a collaborative effort with Daniel."

Boosted by a cutting-edge music video shot in Kingston, Jamaica, the single has taken on renewed energy and is receiving power play on radio in eight Caribbean territories - including Dominica - and is on the playlist of several stations in the US and England. Oriel and his Afar Music Group team have been targeting Europe, where he was originally scheduled to do the 'Confidence Music Tour' in October. But, late approval of the requisite visas meant that the tour had to be postponed for early 2016, when he will also be releasing his debut CD.

Talking about his first ever European tour at the time, Oriel noted: "We are most excited about taking the music to the people over there. It's also a great opportunity to spread the message of love and knowledge of self that I sing about, while expanding our brand to a different market."

In addition to singing, Oriel also plays the guitar and the clarinet, writes his lyrics and co-produces his songs. He performs with his band, Oriel and the Revoluters, and his fans are known as the Revoluters.





Barbee Wins Best Female African Pop Artist

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barbee-wins-african-award.jpgBarbee comes from a diverse background of Nigerian and Jamaican descent, and you can hear the cultural influence in her music.

Barbee is wildly known and respected in the music industry, and has calibrated with many talented artist, such as Trina and Bennie Man. Barbee's craft is not going unnoticed, on November 27, 2015 Barbee was nominated and won Best Female African Pop Artist at The Annual African DJs and MCs Awards in New York City.

Barbee performed at the awards where she gave a tribute to her culture by doing a segment dedicated to contemporary African dance. Barbee mixed both her Caribbean and African cultures with her chart toping #1 hit song "Love You Anyway." Barbee mentions she wants to work with more Nigerian Producers. In her acceptance speech Barbee states;

"I feel blessed that I grew up in a household with so much culture and was able to listen to so many artist like Fela Kuti and I look forward to doing collaborations with other African Artist."

Barbee is currently preparing for a mini-tour in Nigeria, which is set to start in 2016. Not only will she be promoting her hit single "Whoa", but her lipstick line "Barbee Collection"; which she will be launching a new lip color for this Christmas and will be available on celfiecosmetics.com.





JCapri still in coma but improving

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j-capri-reggae-sumfest.jpgDancehall artiste J Capri, is still in a medically induced coma, but reports are that the Wine and Kotch singer, who is a patient at the University Hospital of the West Indies, is expected to make a full recovery.

The entertainer was hospitalised last week after a serious motor vehicle accident, and at one point it was touch and go. However,her family says that she is now breathing on her own and is not attached to any machines.

Late last week, a rumour started spreading that the singer died following her accident.

J Capri, 23, given name Jordan Phillips, was hospitalised last Sunday after her vehicle overturned. Reports said a car she was driving slammed into a wall in Barbican Square about 3 a.m. She was rushed to hospital following the collision.

J Capri is known for songs such as Wine and Kotch with Charly Blacks, Pull Up To Mi Bumpa with Konshens and more recently, Boom and Ben Over.





Welcome To Jamrock cruise sets sail

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damian-and-stephen-marley.jpgThe second annual Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise begins. Due to the overwhelming demand, the state-of-the-art Norwegian Pearl ship sets sail twice next year. The first 5-night musical voyage departs today November 30, 2015 from Miami, Florida with stops in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Jamaica before its return on December 5, 2015.

This cruise is the first of its kind. Never before, has one been able to see reggae's top tier acts for five straight days in such an intimate setting. Filled with jaw-dropping artists' performances to legendary jam sessions from world-renowned DJs and sound systems, Jamaican music is celebrated on every spectrum from morning until dawn the next day.

Many other entertainment events will be planned to satisfy every reggae lover's appetite. This cruise is all that is reggae, but especially all that is Jamaica. From the island's themed movie theater selections to pick-up soccer (football) games, to poolside jerk chicken barbq, the Welcome To Jamrock ReggaeCruise will give passengers a slice of the country's culture every day.

This year's star-studded lineup includes Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Stephen "Ragga" Marley, Julian "Juju Royal" Marley, Ky-Mani Marley, Super Cat, Mykal Rose with Sly & Robbie, Maxi Priest, Bounty Killer, Capleton, Jah Cure, Tarrus Riley, Busy Signal, Elephant Man, Barrington Levy, Third World, Morgan Heritage, Cham, Tanya Stephens, T.O.K, Protoje, Popcaan & Christopher Ellis.

In addition to live concerts, there will be numerous sound systems and DJs on board. Stone Love, King Jammy's Sound, Saxon Sound (feat. Tippa Irie, Papa Levi, Musclehead, Mickey Boops), Mighty Crown, Bass Odyssey, Renaissance, Metromedia, Black Scorpio, Kingston 12 (Shinehead & Papalotl) will be blazing vibes day and night throughout the cruise.

The second ship leaves Miami, Florida on December 5, 2015 with stops in Falmouth and Ocho Rios, Jamaica before its return on December 10, 2015.





anneika-head-top-sher-rumbar-nikiesha.jpgDancer Anneika Head Top and her compatriots Dancehall Queen Nickiesha an Sher Rumbar were enjoying themselves at Nipples Tuesday in Olympic Gardens when an overzealous policeman carted off two of them to the station.

According to Sher Rumbar - the only one of the three to have given the cop the clip - they were dancing yo Bamboo Man's song and climbed on top of his parked car outside the venue in the community.

"Me and Anneika and Nickiesha were on the car, and we were dancing to the Bamboo Man song when everyone start shout out 'run police a come', and mi run (laughing) but it appeared that Anneika and Nickiesha were deep in the dancing and dem never hear the warning so the cops hold on pon dem (laughing),"

"The police officer say three of us must come wid him to the station, but mi tek weh miself, and him lock up the two of them and gone. Him drive down the road with them, I thought it was a joke ting but him well serious.

After him lock dem up, him gone pon the road and tek three hour to come back so dem inna de police station long before dem finally get released," she said.

The two dancehall personalities were not charged, but the officer had threatened to lock them up for body trafficking.

"That is an offence when you are dancing on a moving car, but the car was parked," Sher said.





Catholic priest Monsignor Richard Albert is dead

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monsignor-richard-albert.jpgRoman Catholic priest, Monsignor Richard Albert passed away on Monday evening.

According to initial reports, the 69-year-old Albert died in hospital, just hours after complaining he felt ill.

Having left New York for sunny Jamaica some 39 years ago, Monsignor Albert joined the Catholic ministry in Jamaica.

He frequently bemoaned the state of the poor, the elderly and the underprivileged living in the island, and was instrumental in creating and facilitating the establishment of many social intervention projects like the St Monica's Home for the Aged; The St Patrick's Foundation and the Stella Maris Foundation.





A special team of investigators from Kingston will be dispatched to St Ann today to assist with the probe into the disappearance of four members of a family in Lime Hall three weeks ago.

The missing persons include a seven year old child and her mother. They have not been seen since a fire, believed to be the work of arsonists, gutted their home.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, provided details on the special team. He said the team will be in the parish all week and is appealing to the public as the whereabouts of the missing persons are still unknown

It is suspected that the four individuals were killed and their bodies dumped. Items belonging to two of those missing were found by the police last week.Seven men have been detained in connection with the case.





escaped-montego-bay-prisoners.jpgSix prisoners escaped from the Freeport Police Lock-Up in Montego Bay, St James, between Sunday night, and early Monday morning, prompting a massive manhunt.

Police personnel discovered the prisoners missing from their cell, during a head count, Monday morning.

The men are charged with various crimes, to include murder, illegal possession of firearm, and robbery with aggravation. Police personnel have reportedly been deployed in search of the escapees. It's understood that a large hole was discovered in the wall of the cell, and a section of a grill to the rear of the cell block was cut.

Head of the St James Police Ssp Steve Mcgregor says preliminary reports are that the men breached a plumping fixture in the cell.

On the run are:

  • 30 year old, Kelvin Hodge of Jenkins Corner in Barrett Town, St James charged with murder;
  • 29-year-old Randy Murray of Llandilo Phase 6 in Westmoreland, charged with illegal possession of firearm;
  • 34 year old, Marcus Robinson of Dome Street, Montego Bay, charged with illegal possession of firearm and murder;
  • 30-year-old Gregory Roberts of Maroon Town. He was charged with illegal possession of firearm;
  • 21-year-old Benjamin Stephenson of Dias in Lucea, Hanover, facing a murder charge;
  • 26-year-old Shaniel Luton of Farm Heights, St James for illegal possession and murder.

It's understood that Luton was convicted of murder and was to be sentenced on December 4.

Members of the public are being urged, to be extremely careful, and report to the police, any suspicious men, they may see in their neighbourhood. The police have urged anyone with information that can lead to the recapture of these prisoners to contact the Montego Bay Police at 953-6191, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.

The police also reminded the public that it is a criminal offence to harbour a criminal.





Flippa Mafia's court case resumes Monday

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flippa-mafia.jpgFlippa Moggela's high profile ongoing drug trial will resume on Monday in the Camden County Supreme Court in New Jersey U.S.A. following an early break last week for Thanksgiving holiday.

The United States Government continues its in-depth investigations trying to prove that the dancehall deejay used its carrier services to transfer the illegal drugs from California to Camden in New Jersey.

Flippa Moggela who has been in lockup since 2013 is facing conspiracy to distribute cocaine, leading a narcotics organization, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and money-laundering charges.

The dancehall deejay's trial began on October 27.





Frankie Paul for Sting - From Then Til Now

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frankie-paul-for-sting-2015.jpgVeteran lover's rock singer Frankie Paul will perform at Sting on Boxing Day.

Paul, who rarely performs in Jamaica, lauded organisers for this year's theme -- From Then Till Now.

"It's time for a change. Tired of the same thing. We are the original artistes. It feels wonderful to be on it this year as a legend," he told the Sunday Observer.

Paul is critical of the music's negative direction in recent years.

"The lyrical content and style have changed. Too much war is in the music now and that is not good. Music is life, music is love, music is peace, music is from the Almighty and we are losing that," he said.

"They (the artistes) need to slow down. We want conscious music to sing and dance to, music that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can dance to. Take it slow and make it peaceful," he continued.

He gave a nod to acts including Romain Virgo, Chris Martin, Aidonia, Vershon and Devin Di Dakta.

Though born with a vision impairment, Frankie Paul (given name Paul Blake) ruled the 1980s with tracks including Cassanova, Worries In The Dance, I Know The Score and Sarah.

He plans to release a new album entitled In The Arena.





rolling-stones-keith-richards.jpgGuitarist Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones released a cover of a Gregory Isaacs classic this month.

Richards covered Love Overdue as part of a track from his 2015 album set for release mid December. The video of Love Overdue was released last Thursday. It features an animated Richards sleuthing around a city in search of someone whom he never finds.

"It's one of the many great songs he wrote that I've always wanted to do," Richards told Damian Fanelli from Guitarworld magazine . "So I indulged myself."

Richards added that he misses Isaacs who died in October 2010. The album entitled Crosseyed Heart will become the Rolling Stones guitarist's first solo effort in over 20 years.

gregory-isaacs.jpgIsaacs, described as the 'Cool Ruler', penned countless songs and released over 500 albums during his life. Many of those albums were compilations. Isaacs rose to fame in the 1970s but maintained his following throughout the decades.

The Rolling Stones rose to fame in the 60s and went on to become a legendary rock band, with album and tour sales that are rivaed by few globally.





hands-behind-bars.jpgA St Elizabeth couple was sentenced to more than 100 years in concurrent jail time, based on several counts of sexual assault against a minor who was living under their care.

They were convicted in the St Elizabeth Circuit Court on charges which include grievous sexual assault, buggery, having sexual intercourse with a person under 16, as well as aiding and abetting grievous sexual assault.

The charges stem from several incidents which took place at the couple's house where the minor also lived.

The man carried out the assaults against the minor over a prolonged period of time with the knowledge and consent of the woman.





'Lucifer' from Clansman Gang arrested and charged

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A member of the Clansman Gang who the police described as a major player has been arrested and charged.

Edward Dunn otherwise called 'Fabulous' and 'Lucifer',was taken into custody by members of the Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) and detectives from the St Catherine North Division.

Dunn who was arrested on Tuesday, was charged on Thursday with leading a criminal organization and being a member of a criminal organization.

Meanwhile the C-TOC says in recent times five persons from the Clansman Gang and four persons from the One Order Gang have been charged.

The organisation says plans are in the making to prosecute additional persons who were attached to the criminal gangs.





ishawna-benz-and-joe.jpgWe have some advice fi Ishawna and we hope say she a listen.

Awright. Di odda day we hear how the court seiza Downsound assets and among those assets was the Mercedes Benz car that Joe Bogdonovich, the CEO of Downsound Records, reportedly bought for Ishawna.

Well, Ishawna, listen good, Good Girl. If the Benz a your Benz, then the Benz suppose to be in your name, NOT Downsound Records or Joe Bogdanovich.

Good Girl, if the Benz was in your name, the court could never tek it way as part of Downsound assets. If Joe a lend you the Benz fi gwaan drive like a rental, then fine. But if Joe a buy a Benz fi you as your personal ride, then the Benz must be in the name Ishawna whatever-you-surname-is.

So, Good Girl, we a beg you fi tek we advice.

Yeah, and we love how you get back you ride and a floss inna it, but memba, you have earned it, but it's not yours until it's in your name.





Gully Bop says Chin holds on to his passport

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gully-bop-and-shauna-chin-kissing.jpgAs the drama continues with Gully Bop and his former lover and manager Shauna Chin, Bop Chin has taken away his passpaort.

Gully Bop tells a radio station in an interview that he is grounded.

His new manager and PR Karl Durrant has intervened and is making some headway in retrieving the document from Chin.

Chin, however, has so far refused to comment on that particular issue.

Gully Bop and Shauna Chin'have had a nasty and very public split of their fairytale romance, which many had predicted would not last.





gully-bop-head-injury-shauna-chin-cheating-fight.jpgA video circulating on social media, shows an angry Gully Bop pointing towards a car while inside the vehicle Shauna Chin screams.

"People, Lord Jesus help mi! Di man a get mad pon mi," Chin shouts.

In the video Gully Bop is seen walking around the car as if trying to get in while the woman screams for someone to open the gate and allow to her leave.

"Open di gate nuh, open di gate! Oonu ago mek di man kill mi in yah?"

But Gully Bop tells a different story in another viral video. With his face covered with what seemed like blood, he relates how Chin cheated on him and attempted to fight him when caught.

"Chin have man inna me house, inna me house. Chin wait till late fi bring dem inna mi house," Bop says.

"She hide behind the door, knock me out with a padlock and buss up di whole a me face," he says in explaining the condition of his face.

"A Chin do this. Me deh a show and Chin have man inna me house. She wait till late and bring them in a me house. Me go the house, she hide behind the door, knock me out with a padlock, and buss up the whole a me head," he stated.

He also alleges that Chin has been scamming his money and that they have been separated for more than three months. The deejay claims that Chin has been unfaithful in their relationship and locked him out of his house.

Chin, however, has staunchly denied this, saying instead that Bop has been physically abusing her for months, and that he has a drug problem.

"Bop is a liar. I am no longer his fiancee. We done. Bop vex because me catch him a try take out the TV out of the house fi sell it. A di same thing him do wid the sound box. Me cudda never carry man inna the house weh me and Bop live inna. Me a nuh idiot. Gully Bop, how you fi bruk inna you own house and thief the things?" she stated.

"Him a bruk inna him owna house, fi tief out di tings dem, fi sell fi buy coke," she says.

However, according to Bop, "One week now mi nuh guh inna mi house.She have... man inna mi house! She feel seh mi deh a Mandeville but she neva know mi come up last night."

"She busted, Shauna Chin busted," Gully Bop continued. "Have man inna mi house. Man all have mi clothes weh mi buy a England."

However, Chin said in an interview with Zip fm today that Gully Bop thinks she is involved with everyone she talks to.

Gully Bop also denied claims that he was breaking into the house to take anything, but merely wanted the keys to his house from Chin.

According to the deejay, everything inside the house belongs to him and he has no need to steal anything.

Bop has also denied retaliating at any point during the altercation, and stated that Chin fabricated the story about him trying to harm her in an attempt to further her career as an artiste.

The deejay also said that he is in no way associated with Chin at this point.

To be continued.....





crime-scene-7.jpgThe St James Cop, who shot and killed the mother of his child on Christmas Day, is expected to be charged with murder.

This follows, a ruling from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn.

The Constable is attached, to the St James Police Division.

Head of the St James Police, Senior Superintendent, Steve Mcgregor, says the charge should be laid against the cop, following which he will appear in court.

Meanwhile, Commander for Area One, A-P Winchroy Budhoo, has expressed concern over the incident, which led to the police officer shooting his child's mother.





Jamaicans are being warned against importing water guns, tasers or stun guns, army fatigues or camouflage clothing, and items used to conduct obeah or witchcraft.

The director of the Contraband Enforcement Team at the Jamaica Custom Agency, Albert Anderson, is reminding consumers that these items are strictly prohibited and anyone found with them can be subjected to legal action.

He is urging Jamaicans to educate themselves about items barred from entering the island and those which require a permit for importation.

Anderson was speaking on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM.





Do not use black mosquito destroyer!

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black-mosquito-destroyer.jpgDirector of the Contraband Enforcement Team at the Jamaica Custom Agency, Albert Anderson, is warning the public against purchasing the black mosquito destroyers, and all others that are counterfeit as these are harmful.

Many Jamaicans have been taking steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites especially as the country heightens surveillance for the deadly Zika Virus, spread by an infected aedes aegypti mosquito.

However, he says the Contraband Enforcement Team has been on a drive to intercept shipments of counterfeit products like the black mosquito destroyer and remove any that may be on the local market.





JUTC driver shot dead

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crime-scene-7.jpgA Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) bus driver has died after being shot in August Town, St Andrew Tuesday night.

The Gleaner Online understands that the driver, whose identity has not yet been released, died at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

A police source says he was shot by gunmen who boarded the number 72 bus he was driving and demanded money.

It's reported that the driver was shot after he refused to hand over the money.

The police believe the killers then took the money as none was found on the bus.

According to police investigators, this is the second JUTC bus to be robbed in August Town in 24 hours.

In the first incident, however, the driver turned over the money and was not harmed.





Cops appeal for info in murder of JUTC driver

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jutc-bus.jpgThe police have issued an appeal for anyone with information on Tuesday night's murder of a Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) driver to come forward.

Fifty-one-year-old Albert Barnes of 3 East, Greater Portmore, St Catherine was shot by gunmen around 9:05 last night after he reportedly refused their demand for money.

The Half-Way Tree Police say Barnes who received a gunshot wound to his chest died while being treated at hospital.

The police say anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has any information that can help the police should contact the Half-Way Tree Police at 926- 8184 or 926-2551, Crime Stop at 811, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





Did she or didn't she? Did he or didn't he? and if she did, who is really surprised?

Dancehall sensation Gully Bop and his fiancee Shauna Chin refused to let the year 2015 end without the required high drama from them.

In a classic he said/she said, Bop is accusing Chin of bringing man into his house and beating him up with a padlock when he caught them together; while Chin is accusing Bop of physical abuse, lying and drug abuse.

SIGH! What a quality mix up. And they have both been making videos and posting on the Internet. Chin is seen in her video screaming "People, Lord Jesus help mi! Di man a get mad pon mi," while Bop, in his featured film rants: "Chin have man inna me house, inna me house. Chin wait till late fi bring dem inna mi house. She hide behind the door, knock me out with a padlock and buss up di whole a me face,".

Bop says he and Chin have been separated for three month, Chin says that's a lie, as it was only on Sunday that they were out together.

However, she did say that: "Bop have a man a farin a boost him up fi diss me. Him all have woman a call me and disrespect me. She a tell me say she take me man and a she have him now. A long time Gully Bop a beat me up and me nuh tell nobody because me love him.

"Bop need fi face reality and stop be a hypocrite. Him a walk and owe people money and a dem a come to me bout it. I am 25 years old and Bop is 51.

"If me did want bad, me cudda bad. Him a beat me and me still stick with him because him a come from nothing to something," she said.

Though she has confirmed that they have parted ways, Chin says she would still be willing to give him a helping hand with his career if he so desires.

"He needs to go to rehab. He has a drug problem and he loves the drugs more than me. He needs to get his act together.

shaun-chin-eye-patch.jpg





gully-bop-and-shauna-chin-fight.jpgBwoy, no show no nice so!

A wha do dem artiste een man. Bounty Killer did use a hamma fi beat fi him girl-friend and now aspiring artiste Shauna Chin use padlock fi beat up her man.

Poor Gully Bop say Chin neva mek fun fi use di padlock fi beat him inna him head.

If oonu ever see the video! Mi seh, Bop Bop Bop look battered and bruised so till. You woulda neva believe say is a padlock Chin use fi do him so. Den suppose Chin did borrow Bounty hamma? A wha woulda happen to Bop.

Bounty, we ah beg yuh. Duh. No lend Chin yuh hamma.





9 year-old Reanna Dawson missing from Olympic Way

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ananda-alert.png

missing-girl-reanna-dawson.jpgThe police have activated a High Alert for nine-year-old Reanna Dawson of Olympic Way, Kingston 11 who has been missing since Sunday.

She is of fair complexion and slim build.

Reports from the Olympic Gardens Police are that Reanna was last seen in her community about 2:00 pm dressed in a pink-and-white striped blouse, blue pants and pair of black slippers. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Reanna is being asked to contact the Olympic Garden Police at 923-5468, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





pm-at-church-service-george-william-gordon-anniversary.jpg

george-william-gordon.jpgPrime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has hailed the contribution of National HeroGeorge William Gordon, to Jamaica's development as an independent nation.

She noted that as an elected member of Jamaica's House of Assembly during the 1800s, Mr. Gordon advocated resistance to the oppressive governance regime of the day, and lobbied the support of his peers to create greater opportunities for participation in the electoral process by the disenfranchised.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said consequent on these events, "we (now) must cherish the right to vote, and ensure that the elections are free and fair, and free from fair."

The Prime Minister also recounted stories of Mr. Gordon's contribution to the establishment of Christianity in Jamaica, which she said indicated that "wherever he established a business, he erected a church building."

She was speaking a special commemorative service marking the 200th anniversary of the National Hero's birth, at Boulevard Baptist Church, in Kingston, on Sunday, December 27.

Born to a wealthy planter, Joseph Gordon, and his slave, Ann Rattray, in 1815, George William Gordon was elected to the House of Assembly in 1844, as the Representative for St. Thomas.

His advocacy of resistance against the oppressive government at the time led to his arrest as an alleged instigator in the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865.

Mr. Gordon was illegally tried by a Court Martial, found guilty on what was deemed insufficient evidence, and sentenced to death. He was subsequently executed in October 1865.

In noting that the National Hero's resoluteness has redounded to Jamaica benefit, Mrs. Simpson encouraged persons across the society to follow his example by making positive contributions to national development.

"We have come a far way since then, and we should ensure that the Charter of the Fundamental Rights 2011 is upheld based on equality of all and justice for all. Gordon has left a rich legacy as legislator, business man, and church leader. He should be emulated and remembered," Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional Amendment) Act, 2011, accords certain entitlements to all Jamaican citizens.

These include the right to: life, liberty and security; freedom of thought, conscience, belief and observance of political doctrines; and freedom of expression; the right to seek, receive, distribute or disseminate information, opinions; and the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of (i) being male or female; (ii) race, place of origin, social class, colour, religion or political opinions, among other provisions.

Jamaica's Parliament Building is named in honour of the Rt. Excellent George William Gordon.





Official Funeral for Bishop de Souza

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bishop-neville-desouza.jpgThe Government of Jamaica will accord an official funeral to the late former Bishop of the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Dr. Neville Wordsworth de Souza, OJ.

The Funeral Service will take place at the St. Andrew Parish Church, 6 Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10 on Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 11:00 am. The service will be preceded by musical tributes commencing at 10:00 am. Interment follows at the church cemetery.

The 4th Jamaican to lead the local church, Bishop de Souza was ordained a Deacon in 1958 and became a priest in 1959. He was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Montego Bay in 1973 and was enthroned as Diocesan Bishop in 1979. He guided the ministry of the Church for 21 years until his retirement in 2000.

Bishop de Souza died on December 12.





Patrons to pay more to enter Reach Falls In Portland

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reach-falls-portland-jamaica.jpgCome January 1, patrons will have to pay up to 200 dollars more to access to the popular Reach Falls in Portland.

The Urban Development Corporation, UDC, which operates the attraction, announced the rate increases in a newspaper advertisement yesterday.

The adult entry fee will move from 300 dollars to 500 dollars, while the cost for children will move from 150 dollars to 250 dollars.

The UDC says the current entrance fees have been in place since 2007.

It further said despite attempts to avoid a hike, operating and maintenance costs have increased overtime.

The UDC says it will not compromise on quality.

Thousands of Jamaicans flock to the Reach Falls each year, especially on major holidays.





Flow to increase Internet rates

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fly-jamaica.jpgFlow Jamaica's customers are to pay more to access the Internet come next year, as the company has announced new prices.

Customers will see their bills going up by between 274 dollars and 599 dollars.

The new rates take effect on February 1, 2016.

Flow says it has had to make adjustments to the rates in light of improvements to its Internet infrastructure to deliver a better service to customers.





downsound-josef-bogdanovich.jpgDownsound Records(DSR) has kicked 'its former marketer Contractor to the curb and he is not taking it lying down.

In a press release sent to the media DSR rstated: "This is to advise the public that Sean "Contractor" Edwards is no longer associated with DownSound Records Limited and is not authorized to transact any business on its behalf."

Well, Contractor has reesponded. In a radio interview he stated the folowing:

"Well, you know, Downsound Records is basically a non-profit organisation and by that I mean that the two artistes that are left do not generate profit for the company and the company is funded out of Mr. Bogdanovich's pockets.

And therefore they have some marketing strategy where they use tabloid stories you know such as ...who the artiste is pregnant for, who the artiste is sleeping with... and Contractor's marketing is all about making hits and impacting the international market andthis caused a problem where it is said that Contractor as the marketing company is outhadowing the artistes... and as such Contractor's Marketing and Downsound Records have parted ways





lady-saw-photos-5.jpgThe Danchall Queen, Lady Saw made headlines last week when she renounced all things lewd in favour of following Christ. She also apologised to her former dancehall rivals, inclding Spice, and noted that she was no longer allowing Satan to use her.

It seems that Spice is missing her verbal sparring with Lady Saw and decided to lash out at some dancers, inclding the talented and popular Renee 6:30. In a nasty war of words on social media, Spice engaged in a heated battle with the dancers.

The saga escalated subsequent a lengthy post by Spice on her Instagram page in which she made some undesirable comments about dancer Rennee 6:30, Dancehall queens Nickeisha and Sher.

The dancers have since retaliated and have made some disparaging comments about Spice.

Meanwhile, Spice has since deleted the post and apologized to her fans.





Earthquake rocks 3 Eastern Caribbean islands

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 rocked the islands of Martinique, St Lucia and Dominica early Monday morning.

The Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies reported that the quake that occurred at a 2:55 am, had a depth of 147 kilometres. It was located nine kilometres northwest of Fort de France, Martinique.

There was no report of damage or injuries.





New airline service between China-Cuba

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The first direct flight between China and Cuba took off on Sunday from Beijing International Airport.

State-owned carrier Air China is aiming to promote Chinese tourism in the Caribbean and Latin America.

It's the first direct route linking China, the world's second-largest economy, and the Caribbean. It is also the first route between the Asian nation and Latin America, operated by an Asian airline. Flights from China to Mexico and Brazil are currently operated by foreign carriers.

The new service is expected to boost tourism between China and Cuba, as well as travel from the Asian nation to all of Latin America, a region that is rarely visited by the growing number of Chinese tourists.





fly-jamaica.jpgThe management of Fly Jamaica airways appears to be heading into a stormy cloud with its Jamaica based staff.

The Jamaicans have not been given their salaries even though their Guyanese counterparts were paid from as far back as December 15.RJR News understands that the staff based in Jamaica had lobbied strongly for salaries to be paid at the same time as their Guyanese counterparts, but the effort was unsuccessful.

Subsequent to that effort, salaries were promised on Monday but the staff left without compensation as the airline told them it could not pay due to what it called unforeseen circumstances.

The Jamaican based staff is unhappy and concerned about whether or not the airline's anticipation of a resolution of the matter by tomorrow will in fact be realised.

The airline is owned by Jamaican and Guyanese shareholders and had its inaugural flight from Kingston to New York in February of 2013.





Have you seen 9 year-old Reanna Dawson?

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missing-girl-reanna-dawson.jpgThe police have activated a High Alert for nine-year-old Reanna Dawson of Olympic Way, Kingston 11 who has been missing since Sunday.

She is of fair complexion and slim build.

Reports from the Olympic Gardens Police are that Reanna was last seen in her community about 2:00 pm dressed in a pink-and-white striped blouse, blue pants and pair of black slippers. She has not been seen or heard from since.

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Reanna is being asked to contact the Olympic Garden Police at 923-5468, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





Zika virus in Martinique

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zika-virus.jpgMartinque is the latest country in the region to confirm reports of the autochthonous or local transmission of the mosquito borne Zika virus.

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), says the French speaking Caribbean nation is the 11th country in the Americas to report the virus this year and the 12th to report local transmission.

According to Dr Joy St. John, Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) "In the last decade, the Caribbean has been wrestling with wave after wave of vector borne diseases. During the last two years the region has seen unrelenting outbreaks of Chikungunya, and more recently Zika."

Last month , CARPHA confirmed that presence of five cases of the mosquito borne Zika virus in Suriname.

Symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.

The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalisation is uncommon.

In addition to Martinique, other countries confirming the presence of the virus are Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela.





crime-scene-gun.jpgThe police are investigating the circumstances under which an eight year old girl, shot and killed herself.

She has been identified at Gabriel Ricketts, from Galina, St Mary.

It's reported that she was playing with her father's licensed firearm at home on Sunday morning when the gun went off accidentally and she was shot.

Gabriel was pronounced dead at the Port Maria Hospital.





prosecutor-jason-alliman.jpgProsecutor Jason Alliman who was involved in a car crash almost three weeks ago died early Sunday at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.

Alliman, who was a prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, crashed on December 7 in Orange Bay, Hanover, when his car skidded on a wet surface.

He suffered head injuries and had to undergo surgery.

His family had launched a crowd funding appeal on GoFundMe to raise money to pay his medical expenses.Since his death, condolences have been outpouring on social media sites.

Meanwhile, tribute have been pourig in on social media for the brilliant young man, who was seen as an excellent and gifted role model.





A classic Sting 2015 at Jamworld Boxing Day

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Veteran Dancehall Act Tiger At Sting2015
- Nuh Wanga Gut Singer

Sting 2015, held on Boxing Day at Jamworld, stood strong with stellar performances from veteran reggae and dancehall recording artistes.

Veteran singer, Half Pint, was phenomenal on stage with timeless anthems such as: " Greetings," "Level The Vibes," "Mr. Landlord" and "Hold On." The incident free event also witnessed a memorable show from the Bandelero, Pinchers, Tiger, Lady G, Terror Fabulous, and Courtney Melody. The seasoned acts were united with prolific tune-for-tune segments that rocked the crowd.

By midnight the hash tag #Sting2015 was a trending topic on Twitter and Instagram internationally. The organizers of the event, Supreme Promotions continue to revel in the success of staging one of the longest running festivals in the world. Sting 2015, being a globally recognized brand, included Reggae and Dancehall representative from other nations that celebrate the genre, Japan (Ackee n Slatfish), South Africa (Black Dillinger), United Kingdom (Don Andre, Spookie, Flex PD) and Austria (Miss Str8 + Jami Dread) among others.

raine-seville-and-austrian-artiste.jpgRaine Seville and Miss Str8 (Austria) both did good sets at Sting 2015.

Notable performances came from rising contemporary act, Jahmiel, Professor Nuts, Turbulence, General B, Frisco Kid, Silva Cat, Junior Demus, Maestro Don Mr Lexx, Tabeta Cshae and Raine Seville among many others. Endorsed by Lady Saw to be one of the next leaders of dancehall is Starface, who was the final act to perform at Sting 2015, based on time constraints and the police being furious with the use of profanity.

According to CEO, Isaiah Laing, "Sting2015 from then till now was a hundred percent incident free and I am grateful for that. Majority of the veteran acts billed for the event performed. We would have loved more time; unfortunately the police decided to end the show prematurely. Over the past thirty-one years, they have always granted us additional time and have been cooperative. We made every effort to encourage an early turn out, especially with the gate prizes of free motorbikes being given away every hour. We will work closer with the artists and their managers to control their time and language on stage, to ensure everyone gets their turn to perform.

He continued, "We can now say that the end time for the show will not exceed 6:30AM. We must respect the law, therefore the patrons, performers and us the promoters, will have to make the adjustment to presenting earlier that we can enjoy everything before 6:30 in the morning."

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Starface - The final act to perform at STING 2015.





donkey-cartel-mall-shooting.jpgDaquan Antonio Westbrook, a rapper with an extensive arrest record, has been identified as the man killed in an officer-involved shooting inside the crowded Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Christmas Eve.

Westbrook, 18, also goes by the name Donkey Cartel.

He reportedly got into an argument with a group of men at a store inside the mall, and stormed out pulling out a gun from inside his pants - a moment one shopper managed to get a photo of in the middle of the terrifying incident. Once he left the store at least one off-duty officer rushed to the scene and told him to drop his weapon.

Once he left the store at least one off-duty officer, Thomas Ferguson, rushed to the scene and told him to drop his weapon.

When he allegedly refused to do so and then pointed his gun at Ferguson, he and possibly other officers on the scene opened fire, killing Westbrook.

It is still unclear if Westbrook ever fired his gun and how many officers opened fire on the teenager.

Westbrook released a mixtape titled "Convicted Felon With a Weapon," the cover of which shows him in a prison cell wearing an orange jumpsuit and making hand signs.According to the New York Daily News, one of his songs was called "Can't Be Touched."

"Westbrook's friend at the scene told reporters he was going to be a new father. He had just graduated high school in 2014, according to his Twitter," the Daily News wrote.

But according to several Charlotte news outlets, Mr. Westbrook had a lengthy history of run-ins with the police, his record including at least 11 arrests since 2013, one of them related to the shooting of a 12-year-old boy.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the most recent arrests were in October and "were related to drugs, larceny and resisting arrest."

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Grammy nomination for Luciano's Zion Awake

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Following his previous 2002 Grammy nomination for A New Day, reggae royalty Luciano receives the prestigious nod again this year for his latest album

Zion Awake, released by JamStyle Records via VPAL Music, VP Records' distribution arm.

The inspirational songwriter, brilliant singer and international ambassador of Jamaican

Reggae, was born Jepther W. McClymont in Davey Town, near Mandeville in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica. Luciano is constantly working to advance and preserve roots and culture of the genre and maintains the integrity of the music by expressing spirituality and conscientiousness with sincerity. He remains a leader among the next generation Reggae artists who've held fast to the music's original intentions.

Zion Awake is the perfect example of his steadfast mission to spread the message. The album is produced by Homer Harris, the man crucial to the entry of both Luciano and Sizzla to the reggae scene back in the eighties.

Standouts include "Melody" (a song mixing lyrics of Barry Manilow's "Mandy" and The Beatles "Yesterday," the instant classic "Prophecy," "Slavery" and the stellar rendition featuring Lutan Fyah of the Abyssinians' classic "Satta-Mass-Gana."





Disc jock and promoter DJ Sammy is dead

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dj-sammy.jpgPopular promoter and disc jockey Lando "DJ Sammy" Brissett died in the Cornwall Regional Hospital, on Christmas Eve, four days after he was shot while at a dance in Anchovy, St. James.

Brissett, who also managed a western Jamaica dance group known as Energy Girls, was attending a party at York Bush in Anchovy on Sunday December 20.

While at the venue, loud explosions were heard and Brissett was later discovered suffering from gunshot wounds.

The promoter was rushed to the hospital where he was admitted in critical condition.

He succumbed to the gunshot wounds last Thursday.





joss-stone.jpgBillboard Magazine named pretty blonde English singer Joss Stone's reggae album "The Best' because it sold the most copies during the year. And, by extenstion, Joss Stone has been awarded the title 'Best Reggae Singer', presumably because said album was the best seller.

My problem with Billboard is the whitewash (no pun intended). The fact is that Stone's album has proved to be the best selling in the reggae genre for 2015. However, that does not mean that it is anywhere near the best reggae album produced in 2015.

Joss Stone, who rose to fame in late 2003 with her multi-platinum debut album, The Soul Sessions, is undoubtedly more popular internationally than many of the reggae artises with whom she competed. Moreover, her fans are the type who actually buy CDs.

They would therefore buy a Joss Stone CD because of Joss Stone, rather than because it is a reggae CD.

Interestingly, in an article headlined "Joss Stone Falls Flat With Reggae Experiment" Stone is labelled by the Billbord writer as "a serial genre-hopper... switching from R&B to blues, funk to rock" and the Album itself is called "unconvincing", even though it is technically near flawless.

According to the writer of the Billboard article, "The songs are technically impressive, as expected from Stone, but unconvincing. She apes patois (on the bopping "Cut the Line") and even Barrington Levy's ¬signature "skippity bop" (on "Harry's Symphony") in wince-worthy fashion."

So it could be interpreted as sheer stupidity that an unconvincing reggae album on which the singer "apes patois" and is seen as "wince-worthy" is named as 'the best'. Something's isn't quite adding up here.

We echo the summation by one reader who noted: "WOW! that's a surprise or is it? A blonde lady sings a half baked album of reggae tracks with the rest of the album in standard RnB songs and wins Reggae Artiste of the Year. The genre is in a sad place.And to sweeten the pie or one might can say apply extra pain, the albums itself wins Reggae Album Of The Year."

As for me, I am only too happy that the Grammy's did not acknowledge it for a nomination. Even though a Marley, (in this case, Damion) assisted with the production and encouraged Joss Stone, who is his band-mate from the group Superheavy, to embrace reggae.





Teenager charged for illegal gun

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gun-crime.jpgThe police in St James have charged a teenager with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition. The teenager of grange pen in Lilliput was arrested and charged last night.

Reports from the Barrett Town police are that about 10:40 p.m the police were on mobile patrol in the Grange Pen area, when they saw the 17 year old boy.

Upon seeing the police, he reportedly threw an object from his hand into nearby bushes. A search was conducted of the area and a Colt .45 pistol was found with eight rounds.

The teen was taken into custody, however his identity is being withheld pending further investigations. This is the third firearm and 25 rounds of ammunition seized by the Barrett Town police within the last 36 hours.





Gun, ammo seized in Hanover

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hands-behind-bars.jpgA man was arrested after a joint police/military team seized a firearm and 15 rounds of ammunition during an operation on the Long Bay main road in Hanover last weekend.

According to a news release from the police's Corporate Communications Unit, the officers stopped the driver of a Toyota Yaris motor car about 10:05 pm during a Vehicle Check Point (VCP) operation. The occupants of the motor vehicle were searched and a Glock 19 pistol, loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition, was found on one of them.

He was arrested and charged.





Police charged for killing girlfriend

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThirty-three-year-old businesswoman Terry Ann Steer of Waterside Place, Bogue Village, St James, is dead and her common-law husband - a police officer - is in police custody.

Head of the St. James Police SSP Steve McGregor says investigators are looking at the incident, as a homicide.

Reports are that on Christmas Day, the Constable went to Steer's home to visit with his one year old daughter. An argument reportedly developed between the cop and Steer, which escalated into a physical altercation.

The police man reportedly pulled his licensed firearm and shot Steer in the chest. He then fled the scene.Steer was rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

The couple's daughter, as well as Steer's 17 year old son, who were at home at the time of the incident, were not hurt.

SSP McGregor says the accused cop later turned himself over to the police and surrendered his firearm. He says the police have not listed the case as a murder, because further investigations need to be conducted into the circumstances under which the couple became embroiled in the fight.

Its alleged that Steer threw water on the officer and attacked him with an object, causing the cop to act in self defence.





Escapee's head found; cops searching for body

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The head of a man who escaped from a lock-up on December 19 has been found.

The head of 26-year-old escapee, Duran Colman of Cockpit district, Clarendon was found at Dela Vega City, Spanish Town, St Catherine today.

Reports from the Spanish Town Police are that about 6:45 a.m., residents saw the head on the train line in the community and summoned them.

The scene was processed and it was removed to the morgue.

Colman who was charged for murder escaped from the Spanish Town lock-up.

Investigators have since launched a search for the body.

In the meantime, investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, 119 or the nearest Police Station.





Suspect held in murder of Glenmuir teacher

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe Clarendon police have arrested a man in connection with the murder of a 57-year-old teacher of the Glenmuir High School in the parish.

Head of the Clarendon Police, Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, says the suspect was picked up yesterday, hours after Audley Coleman, who is also a pastor, was shot dead.

According to grieving church members, the assailants went to Coleman's house on Tuesday night and attempted to break in.

They were unsuccessful and left and returned Wednesday morning and shot and killed Coleman.

The vice-principal of Glenmuir High, Newton Knight, says the school family has been left in shock following the murder.





Will stations selling bad gas be named and shamed?

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Jamaica's Energy Ministry is contemplating whether to publicly reveal the gas stations which have been identified as selling contaminated fuel.

Julian Robinson, Minister of State in the Energy Ministry, said that there are several matters to consider before making a decision, despite the public outcry over the issue.

There are now calls for compensation, and for the gas stations to be named publicly and face sanctions. Mr Robinson is insisting, however, that proper procedures must be followed.

"We are obviously committed to ensuring that there's integrity in the process, but we also have to be careful that we don't put out information that becomes prejudicial to the business interests of a station," he said.

Once the results of the tests being carried out have been confirmed, "we will engage with the stakeholders and determine the best way forward, which protects the interests, first and foremost of the consumers," he added.

He cautioned there could be instances in which a service station has contaminated gas, but is not aware of this because it purchased the fuel from a marketing company.





Man held after millions found hidden under mattress

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jamaican-paper-money.jpgA man is in police custody, following the recovery of millions of dollars which was taken from an armoured vehicle in Manchester.

According to police reports, a large sum of money was being transported to Mandeville. When the money was delivered it was discovered that a significant amount was missing. The Mandeville Police were alerted.

Following investigations, $14 million was reportedly found hidden under a mattress in a building in St. Elizabeth.

The man, who was at the property, was taken into custody. He has been taken to Mandeville where he is to be questioned.

It is not clear whether the individual was employed to the security company which was hired to transport the money.





Boxing Day will be observed on Saturday, December 26

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The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has indicated that Boxing Day 2015 will be observed on Saturday, December 26, and not Monday, December 28.

Director of Legal Services in the Ministry, Camille Bennett-Campbell, told JIS News that according to the provisions of the Holidays (Public General) Act of 1895, by which all public holidays are governed, if a public holiday falls on a Saturday, that is the day it will be observed.

"That Act says that when Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then the 26th will be Christmas Day and the following day will be Boxing Day. It makes no provision where Boxing Day falls on a Saturday for it to be celebrated on any other day," she explained.

Mrs. Bennett-Campbell added however, that the law does make provision for Labour Day. Where it falls on a Saturday, then it will be commemorated on the following Monday.

In the meantime, the Director said workers should pay special attention to their working arrangements when asked to engage in labour during public holidays.

"If you are a minimum wage earner and you are asked to work on a public holiday, you will be entitled to double time rate. For other workers it depends on what is in your collective labour agreement if you are unionized or what is in your employment contract," she said.





Blood Bank makes urgent appeal for donations

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blood.jpgThere is an urgent appeal from the Jamaican health authorities for blood donations.

According to the Ministry of Health, the National Blood Transfusion Service continues to experience low volumes of blood in storage.

Health Minister Horace Dalley on Wednesday said violence and injuries, such as those caused by motor vehicle crashes, continue to place a heavy burden on the health system and place a high demand on the blood supply.

He added that blood is also needed to treat cancer patients, persons with bleeding disorders, chronic anaemia, and is even required to save the lives of some pregnant women.





Soldiers join police in search for cop killers

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Members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) have joined the police in the search for the men behind Tuesday's murder of two members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

A senior investigator confirmed that the military was deployed to the parish on Wednesday following the visit by National Security Minister, Peter Bunting and Police Commissioner, Dr Carl Williams.

Police and soldiers conducted several raids in the parish on Thursday in the search for the suspects, including the ring leader, Marlon Perry otherwise called "Duppy Film".

The High Command is offering J$1 million reward for his capture.Meanwhile, the four persons detained yesterday for questioning in the case, remain behind bars.

The detainees, who are suspected members of Perry's gang, are being questioned about gang activity in the parish.

52-year-old Corporal Kenneth Davis and 35-year-old Constable Craig Palmer, were gunned down while playing dominoes in a bar in Yallahs.





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duppy-film-police-murderer.jpgA police constable, Dwight Sangster, of Ewarton in St. Catherine, has been accused of burglary in Richmond, and St. Ann has been charged for house breaking and larceny.

Sangster was charged on Christmas Eve.

According to the Head of Area 2, ACP Glenford Hudson, Constable, Sangster who is attached to the St. Catherine police, was arrested on Monday, in relation to a case of burglary in Richmond, in St. Ann.

Reports are that a house was broken-into at Richmond in St. Ann, and an item allegedly linking the accused cop to the crime scene, was found.

Following this, the constable's home in St. Catherine was raided, and a number of stolen items were allegedly discovered. The Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB), is probing the matter.

Meanwhile, the police are also investigating other cases of burglary in, and out of the community.

Constable Sangster is to go before the court next Monday, December 28.

Earlier this year, another rogue cop had dressed up as a Rastaman and attempted to hold up a bank. He was caught red-handed and stripped of his disguise.





Google releases Christmas doodle

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google-christmas-doodle.jpgGoogle has released its first doodle celebrating the beginning of the Holiday Season. Tis the season! Google Doodle celebrates the first day of the Christmas Holidays 2015 with papercraft characters and other items that make up the doodle.

The doodle shows several festive characters along with items such as stars, candies, gifts and so on inspired by paper cut models and cut outs. The doodle has been designed by artist Robinson Wood. The word 'Google' has been made with characters such as a cat for 'G' , owl for 'O' and so on.

Just like every year, we can expect Google to roll out a new doodle everyday, signifying each day of the festive season. December 23 is considered the first day of the holiday season that is followed by Christmas and New Year. Last year, this time around, Google had tried to encapsulate the fun and frolic with children. The doodle was bright and colourful with a smiling reindeer and snowflakes. A simple ribbon with 'Google' imprinted on it is seen in the doodle.





Glenmuir high school teacher killed at home

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crime-scene-7.jpgA 57-year-old teacher was this morning shot and killed in Toby Heights, Clarendon.

The deceased, Audley Coleman, pastor at the Four Paths Berean Church of God and teaches geography at the Glenmuir High School was killed when men armed with guns went to his Toby Heights house and shot and killed the pastor.

According to grieving church members, the assailants went to the house last night and attempted to break in.

They were, however, unsuccessful, so they returned and shot and killed the pastor.





Cousin of arrested JLP activist charged

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe police have charged the man who was arrested last Thursday with Jamaica Labour Party activist Rameish Simpson.

On Tuesday, his cousin Richard Simpson was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Rameish and Richard Simpson will remain in jail until they face the Morant Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on January 6.

Rameish Simpson reportedly drove his Mitsubishi Pajero, in which Richard Simpson was a passenger, into the sea following a high speed chase with the police in Grants Pen, St. Thomas.

The firearm and ammunition were reportedly found in a bag in the vehicle.





police-commissioner.jpgCommissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams expressed outrage at the incident and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"The message I want to send to the perpetrators of this evil deed is that their act of cowardice will not intimidate the valiant men and women of the Constabulary nor will it dampen our resolve to catch them and bring them to justice," he said in a CCU release.

"You will be hunted down like no criminal has been hunted before; you will be caught and made to pay for this terrible crime.

"My solemn promise to the families of these two slain officers is that no stone will be left unturned until these murderers are found," Williams added.

The police commissioner and security minister implored the public to assist the lawmen in solving the crime.

Anyone with information that can assist the police is being asked to call the Yallahs Police at 982-5075, Crime Stop at 311, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

Meanwhile, National Security Minister, Peter Bunting, visited Yallahs where the two slain policemen resided.

Bunting held a private discussion with the mother and father of Constable Palmer as well as the widow of Corporal Davis.

In condemning the killings Bunting said the incident demonstrates the risk that the police are constantly exposed to.

He also noted that the Kingston West Division has lost another member.

Two officers assigned to the Denham Police station were killed earlier this year.

Bunting is pleading with members of the public to help the police in their investigations by providing information that may lead to the apprehension of the perpetrators.

Reports are that former Prime Minister Edward Seaga is also scheduled to visit the relatives of Corporal Davis.The policeman was a close protection officer to the former Prime Minister.





duppy-film-police-murderer.jpgThe St Thomas police are now seeking Marlon Perry otherwise called 'Duppy Film' in relation to the murder of two policemen outside a wholesale on the Poor Man's Corner main road in St Thomas Tuesday night.

Perry was listed as wanted by the St Thomas police in June of this year in connection with murders and shootings in the parish.

The police have identified the dead policemen as Corporal Kenneth Davis, who was assigned to Protective Services Division, and Constable Craig Palmer, who was assigned to the Kingston Western Division.

A release from the police's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) said the lawmen were murdered by criminals who brazenly opened gunfire at them and fled the scene.

The two policemen were ambushed while playing a game of dominoes with friends in the community, Security Minister Peter Bunting said in a statement later Wednesday morning.

"This demonstrates the risk that the police are constantly exposed to by virtue of their occupation and incidents of this nature remind us of the extremely difficult challenges facing the security forces, and the great sacrifices they continue to make in the fight to rid Jamaica of the scourge of crime and violence," Bunting said.





Lawyer Howard Letterman charged with larceny

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hands-behind-bars.jpgDetectives attached to the Counter Terrorism Organized Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) have arrested and charged another attorney with breaches of the Larceny Act.

Howard Lettman,56, of Nevon Place, Mandeville, Manchester was charged on December 14.He was granted bail in the sum of J$500,000.

It's alleged that in 2000, a woman retained the services of Lettman in order to purchase a property.She reportedly handed over $11.6 million to acquire the property.

Lettman allegedly paid a portion of the money to the vendor but failed to pay the necessary fees resulting in the property not being transferred.

A report was made to C-TOC.

Lettman was arrested and charged with Fraudulent Conversion and is scheduled to appear before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on January 15.





Dr Raymoth Notice in critical but stable condition

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dr-raymoth-notice.jpgFormer Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr Raymoth Notice, remains in critical but stable condition in hospital after being shot yesterday by gunmen during a reported robbery at his home.

Member of Parliament, Dr Andrew Wheatley, says Dr Notice's condition has slightly improved.

However, the former Mayor remains in intensive care.

A suspect has been held in connection with the shooting.

Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, says the man was taken into custody on Monday afternoon and will be questioned.





Teen girl shot and killed in Tivoli

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA 16 year old girl died Tuesday afternoon after she was shot in the head in Tivoli Gardens, West Kingston.

The cops seized an illegal gun and arrested two teenagers for questioning in connection with the shooting.A third teenager is being sought.

It's reported that the mother of the teenager, left her at home to go on an errand.

When she returned shortly after 2 o'clock, she found her daughter bleeding from the head - ir was discovered that she had been shot.

The police were summoned and two boys who were in the house were detained.

The cops also found an illegal nine millimetre pistol with several rounds in the house.

The cops suspect the teenagers were playing with the illegal weapon when it discharged.





tanya-stephens-jul-21.jpgA wha tek Tanya Stephens thou eehn? Which rock of irrelevance she crawl from under and a try diss Lady Saw all because di woman give her life to God. Bwoy some people really have di devil a lead dem. Tanya, our advice to you is this:Seek God and not the devil.

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Now people, oonu listen to this, after Saw a try mek things right with God and her fellow man and apologise to Macka and Tifa and Spice, this is what Tanya Stephens post up pon Facebook Tuesday:

"Incidentally... I'm listening out for a clear and detailed apology first to Lady G and then to myself. Maybe then I'll think it's a little less laughable. A no di one weh s@#% a pass memba, a di one weh tep in deh! Jamaica, for the new year you simply must stop misdiagnosing mental illness and bad behaviour of spoilt brats."

Well, di people dem did give it to Tanya Stephens pon Facebook and even then she still neva back down. Di debble trong sah. But Father God in omnipotent.

She continued: "Apologise to the world fi born," she continued underneath the thread.

"Jus a laugh afta di eediat dem out deh weh a try defend it like dem know noten! If everybody fi start talk bout da craases deh a woulda group therapy needed and a only stadium coulda hold we! Think it nice???? Struuups," she said in response to a comment.

Tanya, clearly you are in serious need of therapy. Please get help NOW.





Was the tattoo-eye deejay really wearing contacts?

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alkaline-eyes-tattoo.jpgAnd...the quest for truth continues....and so too the PR stunts.

Alkaline has attracted quite a bit of attention from social media users after posting a picture without his controversial black eyes confirming that he never tattooed his eyeballs. Or is this picture another of his endless publicity stunts. (Which seem to be working, by the way.)

In a pic posted on the entertainer's official Instagram page, Alkaline shows off the sclera which is the white part of the eye that the deejay has hidden with black contact lenses since his musical break some two years ago.

Many social media users label the move by Alkaline a publicity stunt, others express shock at the blatant lies the entertainer told about his eyes being tattooed, while some defend the deejay.





Bring back Professor Nuts and Moshan's cars!

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professor-nuts-skyline-motorcar.jpgEntertainers Professor Nuts and Moshan have had their car stolen over this happy, loving Yuletide Seaon. Yardflex is asking the thieves to carry back the two artistes' cars and, please, don't steal anymore.

According to reports, Professor Nuts' custom-built Nissan Skyline, was stolen in Portmore last week Friday, December 18. He went to Courts in the Portmore Mall to pay a bill, when he got out, the car was missing.

The veteran dancehall artiste and judge for the popular Jamaican talent search programme, Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall, is asking the public if they have information to help him retrieve his stolen Nissan Skyline R32 motor car.

Someone reportedly spotted it in Mandeville the same Friday evening. The car also sports custom built interior with chrome rims. If seen; please contact 431-3118 or 467-9721 or the nearest police station.

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Meanwhile, dancehall artiste Moshan woke up Monday morning and stepped out of his Constant Spring house, St Andrew home only to find an empty spot where his Toyota Belta motor vehicle was usually parked.

"The man dem come inna mi yard, and drive out the car, not even the padlock on the gate mi see. The man dem all a beat mi bad because mi have on kill switch, mi have on tracker pon the car and the vehicle still vanish without a trace. The man dem a work mucky this Christmas," a disgruntled Moshan, who is known for the Social Media and Talk songs, said.





No bail for JLP activist Rameish Simpson

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st-thomas-car-sea-ramiesh-rick.jpgRameish Simpson, the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist who was charged on Monday with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, will have to remain behind bars until the new year due to the closure of the Court for the holidays.

Simpson will face the Morant Bay Resident Magistrates Court on January 6.

Simpson reportedly drove his Mitsubishi Pajero, along with a male passenger, into the sea following a high speed chase with the police in Grants Pen, St. Thomas last Thursday.

Both men were held and the vehicle pulled from the sea with the assistance of the Marine Police.

A search of the vehicle was carried out and the firearm and ammunition were reportedly found in a bag. The other man is scheduled to be questioned on Tuesday.





Jamaica on Swine Flu alert

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chief-medical-officer-bullock-ducasse.jpgIn light of the emergence of the Influenza A (H1N1), also called Swine Flu, in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica's Ministry of Health is stepping up its surveillance and monitoring for cases of the virus.

Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, Chief Medical Officer, has announced that, as part of the Ministry's surveillance system, samples from public health facilities are routinely sent for testing to the National Influenza Centre at the University Hospital of the West Indies.

H1N1 is a respiratory illness that is caused by the Influenza A virus. The symptoms include fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headache and body aches, as well as fatigue. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also be experienced.

Dr Bullock DuCasse added that it is the flu season and Jamaicans should be extra careful to prevent becoming infected and transferring infection to others.

She is reminding members of the public to observe good hygiene practices by washing their hands regularly, and covering their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.





hands-behind-bars.jpgThe man who is the suspect in the murder of 44-year-old Raymond Reynolds of Charles Drive, Bridgeport in St Catherine, was picked up by the police on Sunday, December 20.

Reports were that about 6:05 am, Reynolds was at home when he observed an intruder in his backyard. Reynolds approached the man and was stabbed in the left side of his chest.

He was pronounced dead at hospital.

While the police have not released the name of the suspect who has been held, at the time of reporting Reynolds' death, the police had listed a man known only as 'Labelle' as being a person of interest in the matter, and advised him to come in for questioning on the matter.





dr-raymoth-notice.jpgA man was taken into custody on Monday afternoon in connection with the shooting of Dr Raymoth Notice, former mayor of Spanish Town.

Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell, head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said that arrangements are being made for him to be questioned.

Dr. Notice, who was shot several times during a reported robbery on Monday morning, remains hospitalised. He underwent surgery to remove one of the bullets.

The former councillor was at his home in West Prospect, near Bog Walk, St. Catherine when two men barged in and held him up.

The men reportedly demanded money, and when the demand was not met, he was shot.





joe-bogdanovich-onstage-may-17.jpgDownsound Records officially opened its new head office and studio along Belmont Road in St Andrew on Thursday.

The Joseph Bogdanovich-led Downsound Records feted key patrons at its launch party as the red carpet-themed event featured DJ Collin Hines and Chris Dymond on the energetic turntables.

The premise, formerly Carlos Café, is still in the final stages of completion and is expected to be finished next week.

Some of patrons included Gary Matalon an investor-partner in KLE Group of which Bogdanovich is the largest individual investor, Robert Livingston, owner of Big Yaad Records and Scikron Entertainment, music broadcaster Winfred Williams of long-standing entertainment programme On Stage, as well as many others.





bill-cosby.jpgBill Cosby sued one of his most vocal accusers for defamation Monday, accusing supermodel Beverly Johnson of fabricating claims that the comedian drugged and tried to sexually assault her in the 1980s.

The lawsuit is part of a new legal strategy by Cosby to attack some of the women accusing him of sexual abuse in court. Cosby last week countersued several women accusing him of defamation, but the lawsuit against Johnson is the first time the comedian has taken legal action against a woman who hasn't sued him first.

Cosby's lawsuit accuses Johnson of lying about an incident in which she says Cosby drugged her with a cappuccino in his New York home before letting her go after she angrily rebuked his advances.

The suit contends Johnson, 63, has been using the story - first told in a Vanity Fair story and repeated in numerous interviews and a memoir - to try to rekindle her career.

Johnson's "false allegations against Mr. Cosby have been the centerpiece of her attempted resurgence and she has played them to the hilt, repeatedly and maliciously publishing the false accusations in articles, interviews, and television appearances," Cosby's lawsuit states.

It seeks unspecified damages and an injunction preventing the model from repeating her claims and requests they be removed from Johnson's memoir, which was released in August.

Cosby's lawsuit states that a dinner described by Johnson was attended by his wife and he never spent time alone with the supermodel.

Cosby's response comes in the wake of counterclaims his attorneys filed last week in a Massachusetts federal court against seven women who are suing him there for defamation. Those women contend Cosby defamed them by allowing his representatives to brand them as liars.

In the countersuit, Cosby claims the women made "malicious, opportunistic, and false and defamatory accusations" of sexual misconduct against him that are "nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to extract financial gain from him."

On Monday, a Las Vegas casting agent named Kathrine McKee sued Cosby for defamation in Massachusetts federal court. Her suit, which she self-filed, claims Cosby's former attorney defamed her by denying her allegations that the comedian raped her in a Detroit hotel room in 1974. Cosby's attorney Monique Pressley did not immediately return an email seeking comment.





miss-jamaica-world-sanneta-myrie.jpgWhile many were taken with the accidental Miss Universe announcement on Sunday, some other historical moments were happening Saturday night at the Miss World competition in Sanya, China.

Sanneta Myrie, the 24-year-old Miss World contestant from Jamaica made headlines earlier this year when she announced her plan to leave in her signature dreadlocks (also called locs) for the 2015 Miss World competition. While locs have appeared at the Miss Universe competition - Miss Jamaica, Zahra Redwood, famously wore her hair in locs to break down Rastafarian stereotypes in 2007 - Myrie was to be the first Miss World contestant to appear on stage with them.

"My life has always been rooted in the arts and culture which has significantly impacted my own personal style. So even when I select glam, it has to have an ethnic urban twist to it," she told Jamaica Observer back in August.

As promised, Myrie's hair remained in locs coiled on top of her head in a high bun for the for the duration of the competition.

While Miss Spain ended up taking the crown Saturday night, Myrie walked away with a fourth place finish to the delight of her supporters.





It's okay to 'bun a spliff' at Rebel Salute!

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ganja-smoking.jpgPatrons attending music festival, Rebel Salute, in St Ann, this year will be free to have in their possession and smoke a limited quantity of ganja at the event - slated for January 15 and 16, 2016.

The event has been granted an exemption under the Ganja Decriminalisation Act.

Justice Minister Mark Golding said all patrons will be exempt as long as they follow the conditions set out by the law.

This includes sticking to the prescribed two ounces of the weed, and extends not only to the venue, but to persons who are on their way to the festival, who will be required to demonstrate that fact.

Minister Golding said it is the second exemption application to have been reviewed by an advisory committee that has been in place since the law was passed.

The first exemption was granted to a Rastafarian festival that was held in Negril.

The Justice Minister said a protocol has been established, which the police are working with. He said it has been successful so far.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo men have been arrested in connection with the murder of 44-year-old People's National Party activist, Sadie Forbes in Newlands, St Catherine recently.

Forbes was fatally shot on December 1, days after she complained about political flags being posted at her gate.

The suspects, who are reputed to be gang members, were held last week during police operations.

don-ordered-killing-sadie-forbes.jpg

A senior investigator indicated that the police are experiencing difficulty in building a case against the suspects, as eyewitnesses to the murder have refused to come forward.

The shooting of Forbes sparked political tension in Newlands, forcing the Peace Management Initiative and the Political Ombudsman to visit the community in a bid to calm the tension at the time.





crime-scene-7.jpgA 44-year-old man was fatally stabbed at his home in Portmore, St Catherine this morning.

The Bridgeport police report that Raymond Reynolds, of Charles Drive, Bridgeport was at home when he observed an intruder in his back yard about 6:05 a.m. Reynolds reportedly accosted the man and was stabbed in the left side of his chest.

The police were summoned and he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The police believe that a man known only as Labelle can assist in their investigations and are appealing for him to turn himself in immediately.

Anyone knowing 'Labelle's' whereabouts is being asked to contact the Brideport police at 988-2697, police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.





Lawsuits looming from parents of dead babies

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Lawsuits have been filed against the University Hospital of the West Indies by the parents of the premature babies who died following an outbreak of infections earlier this year.

This was disclosed by Chairman of the University Hospital Board, James Moss-Solomon, at a media briefing on Monday.

He said the hospital has been contacted by attorneys representing the parents.

Nineteen premature babies died from infections contracted at the University Hospital and Cornwall Regional Hospital.

Moss-Solomon also said a decision is yet to be made about requests from parents to have their medical bills written off.

"Those matters are being addressed with the meetings of the legal representatives ... I am not in a position to say what is a resolution at this point in time. I know that discussions are ongoing, I have seen correspondence and I can assure you that it is being addressed," Moss-Solomon said.





Don't blame us for bad fuel, says Petrojam

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Petrojam, Jamaica's state-owned oil refinery, has declared that there is no link between its products and claims that contaminated fuel is being sold to the local gasoline retail trade.

An investigation was carried out after the refinery received reports from motorists last week that tainted petrol was being sold at gas stations.

Howard Mollison, General Manager of Petrojam, told RJR News on Monday morning that the company had done "a detailed analysis of all the products we had in our tank that was being shipped out."

Arising from that exsamination, he said the agency was in a position to say "with absolute certainty" that "the products that we deliver into the market are free of contamination and consistent with the standards that have been defined by our Ministry," and in keeping with international standards.

He said, however, that Petrojam could only vouch for the fuel which it imports and distributes to service stations.

"Once they leave, we no longer have custody or control over the product, and as a result of that, contamination can take place at any point in transit," he said.

Accordingly, he said individual operators "have to ensure good practices to ensure the contamination doesn't take place at their station."





Political activist to be questioned

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st-thomas-car-sea-ramiesh-rick.jpgSt Thomas political activist and his relative who were arrested on Thursday, after they tried to elude the police, are to be questioned.

It is understood that one of the accused who was driving a Toyoto Prado disobeyed signals by the police to stop, and a chase was ensued which left the vehicle being driven into the sea.

Reports are that about 10:30 a.m., the men were in the grant's pen vicinity when they were signalled to stop in a vehicular check point.

The driver disobeyed and the vehicle went into the sea at the Grants Pen fishing village. The men were taken in custody.

A search of the vehicle, with the assistance of the marine police led to the recovery of an uzi sub machine gun with 16 rounds of ammunition.

The St Thomas Police are carrying out further investigations say the men are to be questioned tomorrow.

The men will be represented by attorney-at-law Hensley Williams.





dr-raymoth-notice.jpgFormer Spanish Town mayor Dr Raymoth Notice was reportedly shot Monday morning during a robbery attempt at his home.

According to the police, Dr Notice was shot at about 8:25 am at his home in West Prospect in Bog Walk, St Catherine by persons unknown during a robbery attempt. He was shot twice, and is now being treated at the Spanish Town Hospital.

A Jamaica Labour Party member, Dr Notice lost in his bid to enter Gordon House when he was defeated in the December 2011 general election by the People's National Party candidate, Natalie Neita-Headley, for the North-Central St Catherine seat.

He is not on the present slate of JLP candidates for the upcoming General election. He has been replaced as caretaker for the North-Central St. Catherine seat by Peter Abrahams, the sitting councillor of the Bog Walk division.





A which promoter waan kill Ninjaman?

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ninjaman.jpgReallly now, which promoter tink dem mad and a send death threat to the original-gold-teet-gun-pon-teet-don-gorgon Ninjaman?

We neva hear nutten so yet. (Kiss teet times one thousand.)

People say that the promoter say that Ninjaman trying to ruin him event and so the promoter call off Ninja cellphone and a chat off him moth inna di most way..

Well, deejay, all we can tell you fi do is to make a formal report to the police before you do anything else about the matter.

Anyway, in other Ninjaman news, the dancehall artste Ninja Man is working on the Ocho Rios Festival, a two day event featuring top sound systems and live stage performances respectively to commemorate his 50th birthday celebration slated to take place on January 22 and 23.





miss-jamaica-world-sanneta-myrie.jpgMiss Jamaica World Dr Sanneta Myrie finished in the top five of the Miss World 2015 competition Saturday night in the southern Chinese island resort of Sanya and has been congratulated by Jamaica's prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller.

Spain's Mireia Lalaguna Royo was named the winner of the competition, while Sofia Nikitchuk of Russia was the runner-up and Indonesia's Maria Harfanti took third place. Myrie joined the women in the top 5 along with Lebanon's Valerie Abou Chacra.

After making the top five, Myrie was reportedly asked why she should be named Miss World 2015. Myrie reportedly answered that she was already grateful to be representing her country at the competition.

"I am so grateful. My story is one of a little girl whose life was transformed with charity and love and I want to give that back to others," Myrie is quoted as saying.

Indeed, the dreadlocked beauty has a lot to be grateful for despite not winning the pageant. She finished top five following a lengthy competition featuring 114 women. Among the highlights was her third place finish in the talent contest.

Meanwhile, the victory marked the first-ever win for a Spanish contestant.

Lalaguna is a 23-year-old model from Barcelona with a degree in pharmacology who plans to pursue a master's degree in nutrition. She placed first in the competition's top model contest and appeared to impress the judges with her public speaking.





lady-saw-at-j-capri-funeral.jpg(See full text of letter which appeared in the Gleaner newspaper)

"Since my conversion to the Christian faith earlier this week, a lot of people have suggested that I'm not genuine. But I didn't make the decision. God did.

Some people are making negative arguments that I did it to steal the limelight of dancehall artiste J Capri, whose funeral was held on Monday.

I have realised that there's a place in Heaven for me, even though I have a past that was not clean, even though I was vulgar, even though I did bad things onstage.

It took me having to go to J Capri's funeral to become a Christian. I started conversing with God in the church. The Holy Ghost 'dash' it all over me. God did a transformation in my closet.

Heaven is rejoicing for me now that I've given my heart to God. J Capri and the angels are rejoicing. I care zero about my critics.

At one point, I thought Christ was finished with me. Some people are saying I was baptised before, so it's nothing new. But I was baptised as a child; it was my dad's choice. He baptised all his children. He was a Seventh-day Adventist. By the next week, we were backsliders.

A few years ago, God was doing things for me. I got in the Spirit in Florida. I was doing so well trying to change my lifestyle. Satan rose up on me, but I wasn't strong yet.

I went on Sting that year and called out another female deejay, and I behaved so badly. When I did it, I felt dirty within myself. The devil was smiling, but God wasn't so pleased with me.

But even in that state, I begged God, "Don't let go of me. Hold on to my skirt tail. Don't give up on me."

The night before I was baptised, I was drunk having spent time at Ribbiz. But I heard a voice say, "Marion, God is not pleased with you." Before I got saved, every morning I would call a guy I'm dating. I would smoke cigarettes all day.

At J Capri's funeral, the songs performed by Cherine Anderson and Alaine were songs that had taken me through the darkest of times in my life.

After the funeral, God said to me, "Go and get baptised." But I said, "Church lock. It's Monday. But I heard the voice saying, "Go now." I called my sister, and she ran and called a church sister. I told her I wanted a fiery church. The lady called the bishop. He said normally he would have been in Red Hills, but that day, he had stopped for something. God lined up everything for me."

God is in me. He is working on me. My salvation is not a joke thing. I thought my Lord had abandoned me because I had turned my back on him. Satan is vexed right now.

God said he would take care of me. God has found use for this broken vessel. I urge others to seek God and find him. Open up your voice to be vulnerable to him.

I have been through some things. I was raped in the ghetto. If I can use my story to stand firm, I will. I am already beaten, I am already battered, so others can't defeat me. I no longer need a man to comfort me. A cigarette cannot comfort me.

This is no publicity stunt. God used J Capri to win my soul. I want to win other souls for Him. I had nothing to do with my salvation. The spirit of God came and snatched me from the devil. Why would I want to walk away from all this money from stage shows? Why would I want to walk away from all the other shows that were pending, all the advance money?

God has told me that this project will be bigger than me. God shall make me win souls for Him. I am honoured to be part of God's flock. I used to be ashamed to say His name in the crowd. But now I am proud to call His name.

Two of my female rivals were at the funeral. God said I should forgive my rivals. I forgive them and ask for their forgiveness. I love you, Spice. I love you Macka Diamond. I love you, Tifa. Forgive me if I hurt you. I let go of any animosity. We artistes were fighting for Satan. We wanted his crown. But our real crown is in Heaven for us.

What I was doing was not of God. Forget the devil and work for Jesus. Please, don't take my joy, the joy that God has put inside me."





Six Burgher Gully Gang members charged

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Six members of the East Kingston based "Burgher Gully Gang" were remanded when they appeared before the Home Circuit Court on Friday.

The six, including the gang's leader, Devon Murray, also known as "Pepsi", were charged on Thursday after months of investigation by MOCA detectives.

They are to return to court on January 14.

The men have been charged under the anti-gang legislation in connection with murders, shootings, robberies, extortion and other crimes.

Investigators say the gang has been linked to violence in East Kingston and other parts of the Corporate Area.





Medical doctor from the west charged with fraud

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A Westmoreland based medical doctor has found himself in trouble with the law after allegedly defrauding an insurance company of nearly J$5 million in a medical racket.

Detectives attached to the Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (CTOC) have charged Dr Jepthroy Thompson ,36,with breaches of the Larceny Act.

Thompson, a resident of Big Bridge in the parish was charged on Wednesday.

CTOC reported that between June 2013 and October last year, Thompson submitted claims for payment to a health insurance agency stating that surgery was done on several individuals with the assistance of a particular Anaesthetist and an Assistant Surgeon.

The company paid J$4.9 million to Thompson.

Investigations revealed that the Anaesthetist and the Assistant Surgeon did not participate in any of the surgeries and were not beneficiaries of any money paid to Dr.Thompson.

A report was made to the Fraud Squad in September.

Thompson is scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on January 6 to answer charges of Obtaining Money by Means of False Pretence, Forgery, Uttering Forged Documents and Demanding Money by Means of Forged Documents.





counterfeit-cigarettes.jpgThe Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC) has identified a suspect in Friday's seizure of 154 boxes of counterfeit cigarettes during an operation at an apartment in St Andrew.

The man, who is said to be of Asian descent, is being sought.

The cigarettes, which comprised mainly the Craven A and Newport brands, had a street value of J$65-million.

Deputy Commander of CTOC, Senior Superintendent Clifford Chambers, says the cigarettes are believed to be part of a large trade of counterfeit items.

"These products were found in an uptown residential community. They were in a room stacked from the floor to the ceiling, the operators knew what they were doing ....." he said.





st-thomas-car-sea-ramiesh-rick.jpgControversial St Thomas JLP supporter, Rameish Simpson, was taken into police custody on Thursday on gun and ammunition charges.

Simpson and a relative of his were arrested following high drama in the parish on Thursday morning. The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist and his sidekick are behind bars, following the seizure of a sub-machine gun in St. Thomas. They were held after a high speed chase.

It's reported that, about 10:30 on Thursday morning, the political activist, who was driving a Toyota Prado, tried to elude the police who signaled him to stop.

He drove off and was chased. The vehicle was driven onto Fish House Lane in the community and subsequently crashed into the sea in the vicinity of Grants Pen fishing beach. Both men were held.

Members of the Marine Police and the Coast Guard assisted the patrol team to remove the vehicle from the sea. A search of the vehicle reportedly resulted in the seizure of an Uzi semi-automatic rifle and 16 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Simpson, popularly known as 'Rick', and his co-accused, were expected to have been questioned on Friday in respect of the alleged gun find.

Simpson came to prominence in 2009 when he was transported to hospital by West St Thomas Member of Parliament (MP) and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) deputy leader, James Robertson, after being shot and injured by the police.

Simpson was freed of gun-related charges in relation to that encounter with the police, and in 2011, was again freed of gun and ammunition charges after a witness failed to show up in court in connection with a murder-for-hire probe that led to him being taken into police custody.

He was also freed of a carnal abuse charge in 2011.





5 prisoners escape from Spanish Town lock-up

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hands-behind-bars.jpgFive prisoners are now on the run after escaping from Spanish Town Police Station lock-up in St Catherine on Saturday morning.

They five escapees are:

  • Akeem Hall, 18, of Beverly Flats, Newlands, Portmore, St Catherine, who was charged with robbery with aggravation.
  • Andre Siddon, 19, of Lindel Close, Fraser's Content, Spanish Town, St Catherine, who was sentenced to seven years and two years in prison, for illegal possession of firearm and ammunition and assault, respectively.
  • Duran Colman, 26, of Cockpit District, Clarendon, who was charged with murder.
  • Jevon Bashford, 20, of Big Lane in Central Village, St Catherine, who was charged with illegal possession of firearm and ammunition
  • Omar Bramwell, 27, of Red Church Street, Spanish Town, St Catherine

Reports from the Spanish Town Police were that during a check at the lock-up, it was discovered that the prisoners were not in their cells. It is believed that they escaped by cutting a grille.

Anyone with information that can lead to the recapture of these prisoners is being asked to contact the Spanish Town Police at 984-2305, police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

The police are also reminding the public that it is an offence to harbour a criminal.

It's the second major jail break on the island within the last several weeks. Six prisoners escaped from the Freeport Police Station lock-up in Montego Bay, St James on November 30. Two of those prisoners have since been recaptured and one killed by cops.





Regular flights between US and Cuba to be resumed

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us-cuba-flights.jpgThe United States announced Thursday the resumption of regular flights to and from Cuba, the latest step in a historic thaw in relations.

"On December 16, the United States and Cuba reached a bilateral arrangement to establish scheduled air services between the two countries," the State Department said in a statement.

The announcement came a year to the day after presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced plans to restore full diplomatic relations after a half century of enmity rooted in the Cold War. The countries actually did so in July and have opened embassies in each other's capitals.

The aviation accord reached Wednesday brought the countries yet a bit closer to each other as they move to eliminate restrictions on trade and travel and treat each other like countries without a historic gripe.

But for now the US trade embargo on Cuba remains in place. So does a ban on Americans traveling to Cuba for the purpose of tourism, the State Department recalled in Thursday's statement.

Still, "a stronger civil aviation relationship will facilitate growth in authorized travel between our two countries," the statement said.





man-who-raised-aids-drugs-arrested.jpgA boyish-looking entrepreneur who became the new face of corporate greed when he jacked up the price of a lifesaving drug fiftyfold was led away in handcuffs by the FBI on unrelated fraud charges Thursday in a scene that left more than a few Americans positively gleeful.

Martin Shkreli, a 32-year-old former hedge fund manager and relentless self-promoter who has called himself "the world's most eligible bachelor" on Twitter, was arrested in a gray hoodie and taken into federal court in Brooklyn, where he pleaded not guilty. He was released on $5 million bail.

If convicted, he could get up to 20 years in prison. He left court without speaking to reporters. His attorneys had no immediate comment.

Online, many people took delight in his arrest, calling him a greedy, arrogant "punk" who gave capitalism a bad name and got what was coming to him. Some cracked jokes about lawyers jacking up their hourly fees 5,000 percent to defend him in his hour of need.

Prosecutors said that between 2009 and 2014, Shkreli lost some of his hedge fund investors' money through bad trades, then looted Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company where he was CEO, for $11 million to pay back his disgruntled clients.

Shkreli "engaged in multiple schemes to ensnare investors through a web of lies and deceit," U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said in a statement.

Shkreli was charged with securities fraud and conspiracy. A second defendant, lawyer Evan Greebel, of Scarsdale, New York, was charged with conspiracy and also pleaded not guilty.

In September, Shkreli was widely vilified after a drug company he founded, Turing Pharmaceuticals, spent $55 million for the U.S. rights to sell a medicine called Daraprim and promptly raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

The 62-year-old drug is the only approved treatment for toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic disease that mainly strikes pregnant women, cancer patients and AIDS patients.

The move sparked outrage on the presidential campaign trail and helped prompt a Capitol Hill hearing on drug prices. Headlines called the Brooklyn-born Shkreli such thing as "America's most hated man," the "drug industry's villain" and "biotech's bad boy" - and those were just some of the more printable names.

Hillary Clinton called it price-gouging and said the company's behavior was "outrageous." Donald Trump called Shkreli "a spoiled brat." Bernie Sanders returned a donation from Shkreli.





imf-christine-lagarde.jpgInternational Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has been ordered to stand trial in France over her role in a 2008 arbitration ruling that handed 400 million euros ($434 million) to French businessman Bernard Tapie.

Lagarde was French finance minister at the time. She has denied wrongdoing, and after years of investigation, a prosecutor in September argued that the case against her should be dropped.

But the Court of Justice of the Republic on Thursday announced it has decided to send her to trial. It is a special court for trials of government ministers.

Her lawyer, Yves Repiquet, said on i-Tele television that he plans to appeal the decision.





Adele US concert tickets sell out in minutes

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adele-21.jpgTickets for Adele's first concert tour of North America in five years sold out within minutes for venues on the U.S. East Coast on Thursday, leaving thousands of fans empty-handed and venting their frustration on social media.

The British singer's 56-date tour, announced earlier this week, follows record-breaking sales of 5.2 million units in the United States alone of her new album, "25."

Fans reported getting stuck for 45 minutes or more on ticketing websites, only to find that seats were sold out for major cities on the tour that starts in July in St. Paul, Minnesota and ends in Mexico City on Nov. 15.

Adele's representatives said tickets for some shows were going on sale at 10 a.m. local time in the relevant cities, but otherwise declined to comment.

Hashtags #adeletickets and #adelesoldout trended on Twitter, with fans posting memes, messages and GIFs inspired by the Grammy Award-winning singer's lyrics and music videos.

"Hello from the ticket line. I've clicked refresh a thousand times," tweeted Maggie Sage Hunter, in a twist on the lyrics to Adele's hit single "Hello."

"3 days worth of Adele tickets sold out in 2 minutes and I am heartbroken," wrote Sammi Steger.

"Just spent an hour trying to get #adeletickets in Boston and no luck...At least I can say that I tried," tweeted Jen Taranto.

Tickets for many shows appeared within minutes on secondary market sites like Stubhub, with asking prices ranging from $9,999 each for seats closest to the stage at New York's Madison Square Garden to $300 each for those in the furthest reaches of the arena. Official prices ranged from $40 to $750 each for premium packages.

Adele's "25" album is already the biggest selling album of 2015 in the United States, and has broken records dating back to 1991 when Nielsen Music first started tracking sales.

Tickets for the singer's UK and European concert tour, starting in February, also sold out within minutes when they went on sale earlier this month.





Tasha T performs with youth orchestra

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tasha-t-orchestra-photo-1.jpgRasVibe Records recording artiste,Tasha T, participated in the Brott Music Education Concert that was held at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, November 18, 2015. She performed with the National Academy Orchestra and played the role of the narrator that focused on the revered and historical story of the Underground Railroad.

tasha-t-orchestra-photo-2.jpgDuring her performance, Tasha T delivered a soul-stirring rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption song" that was a big hit with the audience. The event was produced by the highly respected Canadian music conductor Boris Brott after whom the event is named.

tasha-t-orchestra-photo-3.jpg"This was my first time performing with an orchestra; it was an amazing experience. I am truly humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be able to incorporate my style of music in a production of this nature. I'm also pleased that the students who attended the event were able to learn about the Underground Railroad. I believe that they will now have a greater understanding of some of the struggles that black people endured during slavery," said Tasha T. The Brott Music Education Concert has certainly enriched Tasha T's musical experience in 2015, which has been a fantastic and successful year.





US court finds Flippa Mafia guilty of drugs charges

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flippa-mafia.jpgPopular Jamaican entertainer Flippa Mafia was on Thursday convicted in New Jersey of drug running following a seven-week trial.

US media reports say Flippa Mafia, whose given name is Andrew Davis, was unable to convince the court he was not linked to a illegal drug ring that used the U.S postal service to ship cocaine from California to New Jersey.

Flippa Mafia was found guilty of drug distribution charges.

New Jersey prosecutors say he ran the drug operation along with his brother Kemar Davis, who resided in California. Davis pleaded guilty in September and another sibling Roger Davis, pleaded guilty to drug possession charges.

Investigators say Flippa Mafia was the mastermind behind the drug ring which had extended its links to Jamaica and he directed Davis and others to ship cocaine from California to New Jersey.

The cocaine was then distributed to dealers.





The case involving a teacher accused of using a PVC pipe to beat a 13 year old student at the Melrose Primary and Junior High School has been sent to mediation.

The decision was made on Thursday when the parties appeared before the Corporate Area Criminal Court.

Last week, the teacher, Rohan Treliven, was charged with assault.

It's alleged that last month, he hit the student with the pipe - wounding her.The child also alleged that she was dragged on the floor during the incident.

Treliven, who has denied the allegations, will return to court on February 1, next year, when a decision will be made whether the matter will proceed to trial.





Zika virus coming to Jamaica says health minister

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zika-virus.jpgHealth Minister Horace Dalley has warned that the disease is likely to reach the island sooner than later.

Minister Dally, who gave an address at a Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) breakfast event on Thursday, acknowledged that the Ministry of Health does not have the adequate resources to better equip the nation against vector control.

"I am saying to Jamaica: be prepared for the Zika Virus - it will come," said Minister Dalley.

horace-dalley-health-minister.jpg

"I'm going to be very frank, we don't have enough fogging machines to fog every single community in Jamaica," Dalley contended.

Already, the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) has confirmed the mosquito-borne disease in multiple countries including Brazil, Chile (Easter Island), Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

In the meantime, the minister used the opportunity to urge the public to be proactive to the seemingly imminent arrival of the latest mosquito outbreak.

"We as citizens must take the [necessary] precaution[s]. The impact of Chik-V was tremendous last year...let us not go there [again]," he added.

"We will do what we have to do in the central ministry, but we have this personal responsibility that we must ensure we are a part of," noted Minister Dalley.





53 deportees arrive in Jamaica from the US

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A total of 25 deportees - 51 men and two women - arrived Thursday morning at the Norman Manley International Airport from various locations in the United States.

The individuals served sentences for mainly drug related charges and immigration breaches.

Annually, more than one thousand deportees are sent to Jamaica, most of the offences are immigration related.





St Ann businessman Mark Perkins shot at home

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crime-scene-gun.jpgA St Ann businessman was critically injured when he was shot several times at his home in Walkerswood, St Ann, yesterday.

He is Mark Perkins, operator of Lyming at Walkerswood, a popular restaurant and bar along the busy thoroughfare between Ocho Rios and Moneague.

Reports are sketchy, but it is believed that Perkins was at home sometime around 1 p.m. when shots were heard.

Upon investigations, he was discovered with several bullet wounds to the body. He was rushed to hospital where he was admitted. His condition is believed to be critical.

The incident shocked several residents of the normally quiet community.

Opened since September 2008, Lyming at Walkerswood has become a popular restaurant and bar, favoured by Jamaicans and visitors alike for its menu of Jamaican delicacies, which includes items such as jerk chicken and pork, roast fish, puddings, boiled corn and manish water.

The St Ann police are investigating.





Murder suicide rocks Linstead

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe Linstead Police is investigating a possible murder-suicide, which has rocked the St Catherine community.

According to reports, a local security guard shot and killed the mother of his child before shooting himself after an alleged dispute around 6:15pm Thursday.

Both died on the spot.





Miss Jamaica scores well at Miss World Charity Gala

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miss-jamaica-world-sanneta-myrie-collage.jpgAfter placing third in the Miss World Talent competition earlier this week, Jamaica's contestant Dr Sanneta Myrie was again on top of the pageant proceedings.

This time Myrie scored big at the annual Miss World Charity Gala Event as the items she brought to be auctioned were among the highest bids for the night.

Myrie's items which included Usain Bolt autographed trainers, one-of-a-kind artworks and cultural emblems raked in Y50,000 ($6500 USD) and tied as the highest bid of the night. Just over Y260,000 (over $40,000) was raised through the auction as well raffle and ticket sales on the night.

One of the annual traditions of the Miss World Pageant is the Charity Gala Event, where all Miss World contestants bring with them a special gift, be it a personalized painting or a valuable token from their country, and auction it for a good cause.

All proceeds of the Charity Gala will go to benefiting the Sanya Orphanage founded by Miss World Chairwoman, Julia Morley, in 2005.

According to the Miss World Pageant's official website, the Orphanage houses and nurtures over 60 orphaned youth.





Good performance from Abby Dallas at Weddy Weddy

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One Jam Music's recording artiste Abby Dallas showed why she is most deserving of her invite to Sting 2015 when she delivered a scintillating set at the Weddy Weddy leg of the RJR Communication's Group Kingston Music Week on December 2.

The emerging star, fresh off the Welcome to Jamrock Cruise earlier in the day, started her performance with a bit of wit, assuring Stone Love's founder and Weddy Weddy host Father Pow that even if she had to jump off the ship and swim to the location, she would not have missed the opportunity to perform at this special edition of Weddy Weddy.

She eased into the musical portion of her set with her hit reggae ballad From My Heart, which she dedicated to Father Pow. The Versatile Diva then followed up From My Heart with her thought-provoking lovers rock hits He's Just Not Into You and Nuh House Mouse, before launching into her dancehall catalogue with Extraordinary (I am that Girl), which earned her another round of forwards.

On the strength of her performance at WeddyWeddy, she was invited to the Hitz 92FM Road Show in Bog Walk on December 5 by DJ Roderick Howell. She justified the Hitz Family's confidence in her ability by again delivering another outstanding performance punctuated by many genuine forwards.

The artiste credits her rising popularity in town and country to her growing comfort and confidence that enable her to connect better with her audiences.

Abby shared, "I think I'm now understanding my craft much better and getting into my comfort zone, so I'm now able to communicate better with my audience. I know I still have a way to go, so I work each day striving to do better. Folks should come out to Sting 2015, as I plan to put on a treat for my fans."

Those interested in learning what the buzz around Abby Dallas is about can check out another of her musical treats: her recently released DESTINED MIXTAPE, hosted by DJ Kurt Riley, is available for free download on her facebook fanpage, www.facebook.com/AbbyDallasMusic





lady-saw-baptised.jpgGospel artistes who lwere once members of the dancehall fraternity have rolled out the red carpet for Lady Saw and have given her words of encouragement as she starts her Christian journey..

Lt. Stitchie: "Persons gave me two weeks to backslide, but they didn't tell me which year. I'm still here. I will tell Marion to listen to God, not man because man look on the outward but God examines the heart."

Papa San: "Oh my God, I am rejoicing. I want her to know that we love her and we are just rejoicing. We stand with her, we stand in prayer with her and we want people to recognise that God can change any person. He (God) didn't come to call the righteous, He came to call the sinner. What I would encourage Lady Saw to do and that's what I did - get herself embedded in bible studies. She has to get into the word of God and feed her Spirit-man. The music will always be there, God gifted her in that area so just get into the word of God," Papa San said.

DJ Nicholas: "I would tell Lady Saw to try to know God for herself and not through anyone else. Spend time in fasting and prayer and the word as well. And don't be discouraged if she sees things in the church that she didn't expect. You know the saying that you have good cops and bad cops? It's the same in the church. So don't be discouraged by that."

Ryan Mark: "My prayer is that God will position her in the right church and among the right people , people who will pray for her and lift her up and not condemn her. Many people expect the church to be perfect but I have been a Christian for many years and I can tell you that you that the church is not perfect. A lot of people go into church and then leave because they didn't expect to find some things there but the church isn't a perfect place. So I would tell Marion Hall to keep her eyes on Jesus."

Crissy D: "I know the heavens are rejoicing that Lady saw has now started the race. She will have a lot of hurdles but it's a start. I want her to know that she is covered because once you enter this (Christian) race you are covered. Even if she is to look back she is still covered. Saw and I met when I just got saved and she had a strong desire to serve the Lord, she just didn't know how to come to Him but thank God that a seed was planted. I want her to know that this race will strip her and detox her of everything she thought she knew but at the end of the day she will learn to glorify God and not man."

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Jamaica's pioneering boxing promoter, Lucien Chen, died at 5:53 pm on Wednesday. Chen who had been ailing for some time, resided in South West Miami.

He was 88 at the time of his death.

Chen negotiated the world title fight for the late Trevor Berbick in 1986 against Mike Tyson, and was also pivotal in arranging title fights for Mike McCallum, Richard Clarke, Simon Brown, Bunny Grant and countless others.

Chen was also intrumental in arranging the world heavyweight title fight, 'Sunshine Showdown,' between Joe Frazier and George Foreman in Jamaica in 1973. Chen also staged many dinner boxing cards in the 1980s and 1990s.

His other love was horseracing, where he owned the country's largest bookmaking firm, Track Price Plus, and was also an owner and breeder of racehorses teaming with Melvin 'Babu' Chin of Melvin Park Stud & Stables fame.





court.jpgBritain's High Court has ruled that a crack cocaine dealer who was recommended for deportation to Jamaica or Ghana, after being caught supplying drugs in the UK, is entitled to compensation for unlawful detention.

A judge said attempts by the Home Secretary to remove Paul Ricky West after he served a jail sentence were frustrated by a lack of documents and uncertainty about his origins.

The judge said West, jailed for supplying heroin and crack cocaine, was entitled to damages because the Home Secretary continued to detain him after it should have been realised he could not be deported within a reasonable period.

The judge assessed that West had spent 13 months in unlawful detention.

The court heard various inconsistent accounts of the prisoner's life, including that the 36-year-old was born in Ghana to a Ghanaian father and a Jamaican mother.

He said in one account that he was taken to Jamaica at the age of three months, where he was raised by his mother, and then by an aunt after his mother moved to the UK. He said he joined his mother in the UK in 1995, at the age of 16, and worked in various jobs until his arrest for drug offences in November 2005.

The judge said the total lack of documents meant there was uncertainty about West's identity. He has no known family or contacts in Jamaica.





Clarendon man goes missing in Papine

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clarendon-missing-man-garthley-henry.jpgThe police need the public's assistance in locating 28-year-old Garthley Henry otherwise called, 'Omels' or 'Bantan' of Low Wood District, Sanquinetti, Clarendon. He has been missing since Friday, December 4.

He is of dark complexion, stout build and is about 5 feet 11inches tall.

According to reports from the Papine Police, Henry was last seen in Papine around 10:30am. The police have been unable to ascertain Henry's mode of dress at the time he went missing, however all efforts to contact him have proven futile.

The police urge anyone knowing the whereabouts of Garthley Henry to contact the Papine Police at 927-2047, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





usain-bolt-wins-gold-200m-beijing-2015-photo-2.jpgJust before competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Jamaica's Usain Bolt will return to the London Anniversary Games on July 22-23.

His appearance at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in the British capital will be his final race before the Olympic Games in Rio.

The world record-holder's appearance at this year's edition of the meeting was his last race before heading to the Chinese capital for the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015, where he successfully defended his titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

"I know the athletics fans in London are very knowledgeable and passionate about track and field and will come out in force and create a great atmosphere like they always do," said the six-time Olympic gold medallist.

"I first competed in the London Grand Prix in 2005 when the event was in Crystal Palace," the global superstar added.

"This will be my ninth time to compete in a city I know very well. There are a lot of Jamaicans living in the UK and I always get great support - it is like my home away from home."





Fern Gully closed for 48 hours due to oil spill

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fern-gully.jpgAn oil spill caused by a bus fire on Wednesday has resulted in the Fern Gully in St. Ann being closed for 48 hours.

The National Works Agency (NWA) is mobilising a work crew to respond to the situation.

The Agency says the oil spill has affected a large section of the road and seeped into drains.

NWA Communication Manager, Stephen Shaw, says the oil spill will have to be contained and cleaned up before the area can be considered safe for motorists.

"We are going to use sand to assist in soaking up the oil that is there. We will then have to engage the assistance of the fire department of having the entire area washed. Some of the oil has also gotten into the drainage system - and all the drains go into the main gully that takes water into the sea."

He urged persons who usually use the Fern Guly to get to Ocho Rios to travel through Breadnut Hill or Chalky Hill .

The incident occured when a bus transporting teachers of Eltham High in St. Catherine caught fire.

More than forty teachers were on the bus which was destroyed.

Some passenger were to the St. Ann's Bay hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Reports are that the bus developed mechanical problems.





Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor says the daring daylight shooting in Cornwall Court, Montego Bay on Tuesday was a result of gang violence among mostly teenagers.

According to SSP McGregor, who is in charge of the St James police, the teens who are in an ongoing dispute over some missing guns, exacted their revenge by harming a relative of one of the key figures involved

Speaking on radio on Wednesday, SSP McGregor said the young gangsters were among the lotto scamming trade in the parish, and his team was in search of some who have been linked with the drive-by shooting that resulted in six persons being injured, one fatally.

He said the youngsters had developed a culture of indifference to public order and community stability, with happenings like the missing guns producing violent confrontations.

Over 200 persons have been murdered in St James so far this year, with the parish leading by far, the homicide statistics among the police geographical divisions.

SSP McGregor said the police are bent on getting on top of the situation.





Teachers injured as bus overturns in Fern Gully

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fern-gully.jpgfern-gully-bus-photo-1.jpgA bus transporting teachers of Eltham High in St. Catherine caught fire in Fern Gully on Wednesday..

According to reports, more than forty teachers were on the bus which was totally destroyed by the fire.

The police say that some passenger were taken to the St. Ann's Bay hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Reports are that the bus developed mechanical problems.





EXCLUSIV Vodka set to flavor the holiday Season

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exclusiv-vodka.jpgJust in time for the festive season, Ice Beverages Jamaica has given Jamaican vodka lovers another vodka that is expected to tantalize their taste buds and convert even the most skeptical drinker.

The liquor distributor, who has been distributing wines and spirits locally, officially launched the Exclusiv Vodka line and Exclusiv Moscato in Kingston last week.

Exclusiv, a Russian Vodka from the Island of Moldova, has been turning heads internationally for years and has even garnered over nine international awards including TheFiftyBest.com's distinguished "Best Flavored Vodka" award in the United States in 2014.

With its entrance in the Jamaican market the brand is expected to be a strong competitor due to its award winning taste and low price point.

"Exclusiv Vodka in Jamaica is expected to be a strong seller because of its taste alone, it's wheat is distilled 5 times to ensure the highest quality, plus the brand has been priced quite competitively, " Marlon Thompson, CEO of Ice Beverages Jamaica shared "We always look overseas for the highest quality to take to our local consumers and when we came across the Exclusiv brand we were more than impressed" Marlon added

Exclusiv's own tagline 'Premium Vodka, made affordable' epitomizes this in all the flavors now distributed in Jamaica; Original, Berry, Pineapple, Coconut, Peach, Cherry, Rose and Napoleon XO. Great reviews were also given to Exclusiv Moscato at the Launch event last Tuesday at Café Delite in New Kingston.

"It's difficult to choose one flavor after you have tried them all. The Flavors are first class and the brand overall shows us that quality doesn't always have to be expensive" Camalla LaTouche, Brand Ambassador for Exclusiv Vodka, confirmed

Exclusiv will also be present at premiere events this holiday season and has plans for increased visibility heading into 2016. For more info follow Exclusiv Vodka on social media @exclusiv_vodkaja.

5 - Exclusiv vodka





sophia-brown-2014-award-winner.jpgA few days after receiving the good news that she was crowned 'Best Female Lovers Rock Singer 2015' at the annual Lady Flava Network Awards in Hartford, Connecticut for the second consecutive year, reggae songbird Sophia Brown now has her sights set on delivering a winning performance at Sting 2015, the Greatest One Night Dancehall/Reggae Show on earth.

The event takes place on Boxing Day, December 26 at the Jamworld Entertainment Complex in Portmore, Jamaica.

The award winning singer, who is expected to charm fans with popular hits like 'Gimme That Good Love,' 'Catch Me If You Can' and Betty Wright's 'Tonight is The Night' is hoping to build on the positive strides she has made so far for 2015.

"This will be my second time gracing the stage at Sting and I am hyped and ready to bring it to fans, gift wrapped and all," she gushed.

While the full Sting 2015 lineup has not yet been unveiled, event organizers said the Boxing night event will bring back the dancehall rulers of the 1980s including veteran DJs Josie Wales, Charlie Chaplain and Brigadier Jerry who are booked to deliver a three the hard way performance.

Considered one of the hardest working female performers in the industry, the sultry Brown is hoping to end the year in a blaze of glory. She started 2015 with a scintillating performance at Rebel Salute in Richmond, St Ann in January. She then delivered a first class performance in New York at the sixth annual Linkage Awards, where we she won an 'Outstanding Achievement In Music Award'.

She headlined Sophia Brown In Concert at the West Indian Social Club in Hartford, Connecticut and held fans in a musical trance at the Taste of The Caribbean and Jerk Festival in Hartford, Connecticut, where she shared stage with reggae singer Luciano. She also performs at the 15th annual Springfield Carnival at Blunt Park in Massachusetts, and graced the stage at the 29th annual Caribbean Festival at Great Plaza, Penn's Landing in Philadelphia.





lady-saw-baptised.jpgThe acclaimed Dacehall Muma, Marion "Lady Saw" Hall,had her sins washed away at a baptisimal service at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church on Slipe Road in Kingston on Monday evening.

The news of Lady Saw's baptism has sent dancehall fans, church-goers and just about everybody in a spin, as many contemplate the way forward for the number one female dancehall deejay, who has reigned for more than two decades.

Lady Saw posted a video of the occasion on her instagram page with the caption, "I'm now washed of all my sins. I've given my life to God fully and am ready to walk with him and do his work."

"Please give me some time to understand what God wants me to do next please. I know u want me all over the world but please wait please."

Lady Saw has spoken time and again about being "called by God" and the news of her full acceptance has been received with mixed reactions.

However, she is being fully embraced by the Christian community internationally, with even a pastor in Canada reaching out to her.

It is expected that dancehall-deejay-turned-christian, Stitchie, will be paying Lady Saw a visit very soon, if he has not already done so. Stitichie had done a song a few years ago, Fast And Pray in which he had prayed that all his dancehall artistes would give their lives to God.

In 1994, she released her debut album, Lover Girl, which had hits like Find a Good Man and Hardcore. Her accomplishments include Underneath it All, the 2002 collaboration with No Doubt which reached number three in the United States and won a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Duo or Group.

Earlier on Monday, after attending J Capri's funeral, Lady Saw announced that she had decided to cancel all her remaining dancehall shows after being "spoken to" by the Lord at the service.





Body of missing 13 year-old found on Portland beach

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crime-scene-7.jpgThe Portland police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a teenager whose body was found on Tuesday by residents at the Fisherman's Beach at Prospect in Port Antonio, Portland

He has been identified as Javaine Morris,13, a student of Drapers All Age School in the parish.

It's reported that residents at the fishing village spotted the body shortly before 6am.

It is suspected that he drowned.





education-minister-ronnie-thwaites.jpgEducation Minister Ronald Thwaites, while affirming that corporal punishment in schools is still legal, has cautioned teachers about its use.

This follows a recent incident, in which a senior teacher at St. Richard's Primary School in St. Andrew was charged with injuring a student with a ruler.

Beverly Dinall, the accused teacher, is booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on January 5.

Mr. Thwaites, while declining to comment specifically on the Dinall case, reiterated that corporal punishment was discouraged in schools. He stressed, however, that corporal punishment is not against the law, "where applied in moderation and in proper circumstances."

In that regard, he asserted that "there are circumstances where I believe it may be justified (but) certainly never to injure someone."

Ms. Dinall, was charged by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, after the agency received a complaint by the child's parent that he sustained an injury during the reported beating last month.

Mr. Thwaites said the Ministry will be looking into the alleged incident.





Security guard killed in Mona Road collision

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crime-scene-7.jpgAn accident on Mona Road in St Andrew early Tuesday has claimed the life of Sean Nelson,26, a security guard at the University of the West Indies.

The police say Nelson, who was driving a motor cycle, was trying to overtake a vehicle when he ran into its back and was thrown from his motor cycle.

He was then run over by another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction.

Head of the Traffic and Highway Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, says Nelson was pronounced dead at hospital.





Six shot, one killed in Montego Bay

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crime-scene-7.jpgSix persons were shot, one fatally in Cornwall Courts, Montego Bay on Tuesday.

It's reported that shortly after midday several persons were in a house in Cornwall Courts when a man arrived and sprayed the place with bullets.

One of the victims died en route to the hospital.

More than 200 persons have been murdered in St James since January.





bill-cosby.jpgBOSTON (AP) - Bill Cosby fired back Monday at seven women who are suing him for defamation, accusing them of making false accusations of sexual misconduct for financial gain.

In a countersuit filed in federal court, Cosby alleges the women made "malicious, opportunistic, and false and defamatory accusations" against him. Cosby is seeking monetary damages "to the maximum extent permitted by law."

The women have claimed Cosby defamed them by allowing his representatives to brand them as liars after they went public with allegations of rape and other sexual misconduct dating back decades.

In his counterclaim, the comedian says the women have "engaged in a campaign to assassinate" his reputation and character. He says their campaign is "nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to extract financial gain from him."

The women suing Cosby in U.S. District Court in Springfield are among approximately 50 who have come forward with allegations of rape or unwanted sexual contact over the last year. Cosby has a home in Shelburne in western Massachusetts.

Joseph Cammarata, an attorney representing the women, said Cosby's countersuit "stinks of retaliation."

"To suggest that these ladies - each and every one of them - got together and orchestrated a campaign against Mr. Cosby is hard to fathom," Cammarata said.

Cosby's countersuit cites his work as an entertainer and philanthropist, saying Cosby "prides himself in the legacy and reputation he has earned throughout his life."

His lawyers say that his reputation and career have been damaged by the women, noting that they filed their defamation lawsuit against Cosby at a time when he was set to return to television in a new NBC series.

Once news of his return to television became well publicized in 2014, each of the women "repeatedly and maliciously published their unsubstantiated stories through multiple interviews and posts on social media platforms," Cosby's lawyers wrote. NBC dropped plans for the show after multiple women came forward with rape allegations.

When Cosby's former longtime attorney, Martin Singer, defended the comedian by denying accusations of sexual misconduct, the women filed a defamation suit against him "to silence his defenses and monetize their false accusations," his attorneys wrote.

In his countersuit, Cosby denies the rape and other sexual misconduct claims made by the women and says the allegations were motivated by money.

For example, Cosby's lawyers cite comments one of the women, Therese Serignese, made to The Huffington Post in November 2014.

Serignese said Cosby drugged and raped her in 1976 and that she called him after her mother said Cosby maybe would "take care of you." Serignese told website that she contacted Cosby in the 1990s and accepted money from him after being injured in a car accident.

In a statement, Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, said the women's "multidecade-old, false, uncorroborated, opportunistic allegations of sexual assault have caused and continue to cause him to suffer substantial injuries and damages" to his reputation and business contracts.





Nelly, En Vogue, OMI for Shaggy & Friends

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omi-photo-3.jpgRapper Nelly, female R&B quartet En Vogue, and US Virgin Islands' R City will be among the international acts slated for the January 2 staging of Shaggy and Friends in Concert.

The event is scheduled for the lawns of Jamaica House in St Andrew.

"We're trying not to repeat too many artistes. But there are artistes that people have not seen in a while and they are great. We're looking for artistes with big international songs.

On the local side, the Billboard chart-making artiste Omi, makes his local debut since conquering the globe with his breakout track Cheerleader.

He will be joined by acts including deejays Beenie Man, Busy Signal and Popcaan. Gospel act Kevin Downswell also makes the cut. Italian automotive dealer Fiat are also sponsors of the event.

iHeartMedia Inc, an American mass media company headquartered in San Antonio, Texas is on board and will be broadcasting two hours of the concert to an American audience, we want those artistes who are great reggae artistes and have those great reggae hits," Shaggy told Jamaica Observer in a previous interview. iHeartMedia, Inc is

Nelly (given name Cornel Haynes) is a two-time Grammy-winning artiste, having secured the award in 2003 and 2004. He is best known for the singles Hot in Herre, Dilemma, Grillz and Air Force Ones.

The quartet En Vogue, who are best known for the album Funky Divas, is expected to perform some of their popular anthems including Hold On, Don't Let Go and Giving Him Something He Can Feel. Producers-turned-artistes, R City (Timothy and Theron Thomas) tasted chart success with Locked Away, featuring Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.





Marley family ignorant of plans to honour Bob

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bob-marley-photo-3.jpgTHE family of reggae king Bob Marley say they are ignorant of the plans of organisers of the Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) to honour the late reggae icon.

"Damian Marley wanted to know about the award as the family doesn't know about it. They only got to know about the award through a story in the Jamaica Observer," said Bob Marley Music manager, Doreen Crujeiras.

Recently, Zima Chairman Joseph Nyadzayo announced that they had postponed this year's awards ceremony to next year as they wanted to honour Marley with a Lifetime Achievement award. According to organisers, Marley's family had said they would only be free to travel to Zimbabwe early next year to receive the award.

Crujeiras said they feared Zima organisers could have been dealing with impersonators as no one had approached the Marley family with such a request.

"Since we aren't aware of the award, maybe the organisers have been dealing with the wrong people. We're now frantically trying to establish who they've been dealing with," Crujeiras was quoted as saying.

Nyadzayo said an official letter has subsequently been sent to the family.

"Marley's management spoke to us and we've sent a letter officially asking them to honour Bob Marley. We're now waiting for feedback from them on whether they'll accept the award," he said.

Nyadzayo said if, by any chance, the Marleys rejected the accolade, they would resort to an alternative plan.

"We'd asked members of I-Three, comprising of Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, to accept an award; and if push comes to shove, we'd award them instead," he said.





JCapri's funeral a celebration of life

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jcapri-funeral-programme.jpgThe funeral service for entertainer JCapri was a wholesome celebration of life, held on Monday at the UWI Chapel in Mona, St Andrew.The service was officiated by Reverend Bosworth Mullings and Reverend Samuel McCook.

Scores of mourners turned out to suppirt the family as they recalled the too-short life of the artiste, who everyone agree was destined for greatness. Her life was described as "a comet blazing across the evening sky" by her aunt Karen Phillips in the funeral programme.

The programme also featured a touching tribute from Capri's mother, Oradale Carwin and Capri's best friend, Danielle,.

jcapri-funeral-lady-saw-dec-14.jpg

The music fraternity was well-represented and among those present were Lady Saw, Christopher Martin, Carlene 'Dancehall Queen' Smith, Romain Virgo, Alaine, Dean Fraser, producer Christopher Birch, Skatta Burrell, Delus, ZJ Liquid, TOK and D'Angel.

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Crystal Davis, the daughter of Carlene and 'King of the Dancehall' Beenie Man, was noticeably emotional at the service and was seen crying in her mother's arms.

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Cherine Anderson delivered a touching tribute in song at the start of the service. Many family and friends tearfully watched as she stirred their hearts with a rendition of Brandy's Missing You.Other musical tributes came from Romain Virgo, Aisha Davis, Dean Fraser, Alaine Laughton and Christopher Martin.

JCapri died in hospital more than a week after her Mercedes Benz slammed into a wall and overturned in Barbican.





Vendors injured as school wall collapses

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wall-collapses-at-school.jpgTwo vendors at the Happy Grove High School, in Portland have been hospitalised after a wall at the institution fell on them earlier today.

A parish council drain runs through the school compound and it's believed to have undermined the wall.

Several other vendors who were carried away by the heavy water caused by torrential rain, have been rescued.





The teacher at the centre of the beating incident at the St. Richards Primary School has been charged.

Beverly Dinall has been charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

She was granted station bail in the sum of J$50-thousand and is booked to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates Court on January 5.

She has retained attorney Peter Champagnie.

Dinall, who was questioned for more than an hour, is alleged to have beaten a male student at the school.





Media workers injured in car crash

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media-workers-crash.jpgTwo RJR employees were injured in a motor vehicle crash in Trelawny on Monday afternoon.

The engineering support team was heading to Montego Bay for an outside broadcast when the incident occurred.

One of the employees is scheduled to undergo surgery.





lady-saw-at-j-capri-funeral.jpgDancehall deejay Marion Hall, aka Lady Saw is heeding the long call of the Lord to serve Him and Him only. The number one female deejay has been sending out notice of her desire to turn away from dancehall since last year, but she finally made the decision on Monday.

According to Lady Saw, she will be cancelling all her dancehall shows because God has called her to work for Him.

On her Instagram page Monday afternoon, Lady Saw wrote:"God has just spoken to me. He did so at J Capri service and finish it off in my house."

"I'm now a new servant of the Lord," Hall said.

"All my dancehall shows will be cancel cause God has call me to work for him now," she continued in her post. "Glory be to the most high."

Lady Saw was among family, friends, fans, and well-wishers who gathered at the service of thanksgiving for the life of singjay Jordan 'J Capri' Phillips Monday morning at the University Chapel of the West Indies, Mona. Phillips died on December 4, following a tragic car crash on November 23 in the Barbican area of St Andrew. She was 23 years old.

This is not the first time Hall has professed her devotion to God and while a few of her followers reminded her of this, most were supportive and encouraged her spiritual journey.

Chyril_Hair said: "Yes sister Marion Hall this is where your real work begin @ladysawdhqueen."

Vellmore said: "That's wonderful and will still be your biggest fan in everything you do."

Shereew01 said: " Amen. God is really moving and speaking to a lot of us. May God bless you on your walk and journey with him.





Police capture 2 jail breakers; kill one

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hands-behind-bars.jpgThe Police have captured another two of the six prisoners who escaped from the Montego Bay Police lock-up in St. James on November 30.

The men were captured in snap operations in Westmoreland and St. Thomas between Saturrday and Sunday afternoon.

They are Randy Murray,30, a labourer of Landillo, in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland and Gregory Roberts, 32,otherwise called Gref, of Maroon Town in St James.

Murray is charged with illegal possession of a firearm while Roberts is charged with robbery with aggravation.

On Friday, one of the six escapees, Benjamin Stephens, was fatally shot during an alleged confrontation with the police in Spring Mount, St. James.

A 9 millimetre pistol and three rounds were seized during the incident, which was reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

Meanwhile, the police are seeking the public's assistance in locating the other three escapees.

They are: old Shaniel Luton, 25, of Farm Heights, St. James who was convicted of murder and scheduled to be sentenced on December 4.

Kelvin Hodge, a labourer of Barnett Town, St. James who was charged for four counts of murder and Marcus Robinson,34, a higgler of Dome Street, Montego Bay, St. James.He was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

Anyone with information that can lead to their recapture is asked to contact the Montego Bay Police at 953-6191, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest Police Station.





Bishop Neville deSouza is dead

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bishop-neville-desouza.jpgDr. Neville deSouza, the 12th Lord Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Jamaica & the Cayman Islands, is dead.

Bishop deSouza died at his home in Mandeville, Manchester just before midday on Saturday. He had been ailing for some time. Bishop deSouza, who was 87, served as a parish priest in many sections of the island. In 1973, he was elected Suffragan Bishop of Montego Bay, and Lord Bishop in 1979.

He was known for his outspokenness and was not deterred by criticism, especially in the 1970s when he spoke out strongly about social issues of the time. He retired in 2000.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has paid tribute to the former Anglican Archbishop.

The Prime Minister said he gave many years of community and national public service with passion, deep devotion and distinction. She added that during his tenure as the head of the Anglican Church in Jamaica, Bishop DeSouza presided over the historic ordination of women to the Ministry for the first time.

She also remembered Bishop DeSouza for his wide range of interests, advocacy and areas of service. The Prime Minister extended condolences to his family and the Anglican Church community.





missing-teen-shaneia-reynolds.jpgAn Ananda Alert has been activated for 13-year-old Shaneia Reynolds of Golden Hills, St Andrew who has been missing since Friday, December 11.

She is of dark complexion, slim build and is about 165 centimetres (5 feet 5 inches) tall.

Reports from the Stony Hill police are that Shaneia was last seen at home about 6:30am dressed in her uniform - a white blouse, Khaki tunic and a pair of black shoes. She reportedly has not been seen or heard from since.

The police urge anyone knowing the whereabouts of Shaneia Reynolds to contact the Stony Hill Police at 942-2223, the police's emergency 119 number or the nearest police station.





The four gangsters who were arrested on Friday during an operation in Eastern Kingston will be questioned by detectives from Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) this week.

Reports are that one of the suspects, whose alias is 'Pepsi,' is believed to be the leader of the McGregor Gully Gang.

Supported by the military and other police units, MOCA reportedly conducted the pre-dawn raid in several locations in search of the men behind Thursday's million dollar robbery in downtown Kingston.

One illegal firearm and several rounds of ammunition were also seized during the police operation.

MOCA operatives said members of the McGregor Gully Gang have been linked to extortion and other serious criminal activities.

The men in custody are expected to be charged under the anti-gang legislation after the completion of the interrogation process.





Monsignor Albert to be buried on Wednesday

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monsignor-richard-albert.jpgThe funeral service for the late Roman Catholic priest, Monsignor Richard Albert, is scheduled for 10am on Wednesday, December 16, at the Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church on Shortwood Road in St Andrew.

The much-loved Monsignor Albert, founder of both the St Patrick's and Stella Maris foundations, passed away suddenly on November 30, leaving behind a legion of grieving relatives and friends.

There will be public viewing of Monsignor Albert's body on Tuesday, December 15, at St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church on Bay Farm Road, also in St Andrew, between 11am to 1pm; then at Christ the Redeemer Roman Catholic Church in Seaview Gardens, St Andrew between 1:45pm and 4pm; then at Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church between 5pm and 6pm.

The organisers of the funeral service have advised that there will be ample parking arrangements in place for the ceremony, including a shuttle bus service to and from the Shortwood Practicing playfield.

Cremation and internment will follow at a later date.





hands-behind-bars.jpgTwo thuds who fought off an innocent Meadowbrook High Scool girl and stole her cellular phone and later allegedly mowed down a motorcyclist while fleeing the scene, were last week jailed for two years for the theft.

With that part of their date with justice over, they are now left to ponder what will transpire when they return to court on January 25, 2016, to answer to a charge of manslaughter in relation to the death of the motorcyclist.

Ryan Isaacs, 22, of Cassava Piece in Kingston 8, and Kevin Bailey, 21, of Mannings Hill Road, also in Kingston 8, pleaded guilty with explanation to charges of robbery with aggravation and manslaughter in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

The court was told that on the afternoon of November 20, Isaacs and Bailey, who were travelling on a motorcycle, held up and robbed the complainant, a student, of her Samsung Galaxy Core 2 cellular phone along Meadowbrook Avenue in Kingston 19.

The outline indicated that Bailey jumped from the bike and punched the complainant, knocking her to the ground in the process, then snatched her cellular phone.

Bailey admitted in his statement to the allegation, and is alleged to have indicated that the motorcycle on which he and Isaacs were travelling, collided with another motorcycle in the vicinity of PriceSmart on Red Hills Road, as they attempted to evade a car that had stopped at the scene of the robbery.

The injured cyclist, who was identified as Christopher Sherwood of Glengoffe in St Catherine, was rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital, where he died while undergoing treatment.

When both men appeared in court on Wednesday, they said they had not planned to steal the phone. Bailey told the court that he had lost his cellular phone on the day of the incident, and he was frustrated.

In relation to Sherwood's death, Isaacs said he was not riding dangerously, and that the collision occurred some distance from the scene of the cell phone theft.

Senior Resident Magistrate, Judith Pusey, subsequently sentenced Isaacs and Bailey to two years' imprisonment for the theft.





Why Etana really neva go a di people dem show?

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etana-vprecords.jpgAccording to reports, reggae singer, Etana has been called out after a no-show at a charity show in the US. The organisers want back ther money, including the money they wasted on plane tickets for Etana and her husband/manager and hotel rooms.

According to the reports, Etana and failed to make an appearance at the benefit concert held in Queens, New York, on November 27. It was hosted by social media blogger and Dancehall Connections TV host, Tina Chin, in partnership with the Zion Kids Foundation led by president, Roxanne Little.

Tina Chin wrote on Facebook last Tuesday that Etana and her management team have refused to refund monies paid to secure her performance.

"Attached is the original acceptance to my request for your entertainer Etana to be a part of my charity event which was scheduled for November 27, 2015," the post read.

"You, however, failed to honour the initial agreement and since you have reneged on your part of the agreement, I am asking that you refund all expenses already paid out to you prior to your entertainer's scheduled appearance."

Since Chin made the issue public on social media, Etana's husband, Andre Morris, who is also the artiste manager/director of Freemind Music that manages Etana, stated in a release that Etana did not perform because the event was poorly organised and that the organisers did not live up to their end of the contract.

"Of all the charities I have ever done, none has been this disorganised."

Morris said that there were only "25 people at the event" and that there was hardly any mention of the charity's aim during the first opening minutes of the event.

But if Etana and her manager were not at the event, how do they know that? Did Etana know prior to the concert that only 25 persons would have shown up?

And, even so, she accepted the deposit, thereore she had an obligation to attend the show. Even is it was just to show her face.

This excuse makes absolutely no sense.

"I am always willing and ready to give back," Etana explained in the statement. "But I see now sometimes it's best to not be so quick and ready to be associated with every charity.

Moving right along.....





footballer-assassinated.jpgGunmen killed Honduras international and former Rangers star Arnold Peralta in a drive-by shooting in a shopping mall car park, police said.

The 26-year-old was assassinated in his home city of La Ceiba, police spokesman Commissioner Leonel Sauceda told AFP.

Peralta, who had been laying for Olimpia, the top side in Honduras, is the latest victim of apparent gang violence in Honduras, where gang warfare has given it one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Police were hunting for at least one gunman, said Sauceda, adding that the motive was unlikely to be a robbery because none of Peralta's belongings were taken.

"Apparently it was one or two individuals who were traveling in a vehicle -- a motorcycle or car," he added.

Osman Madrid, Olimpia vice president, told HRN radio station: "We are saddened, dismayed."

Peralta's name trended on Twitter, where fans of Scottish side Rangers remembered him fondly as a committed player who endeared himself to the Ibrox crowd with his work rate.

Peralta made his name in the local leagues in the coastal city of La Ceiba and was picked for the Honduras squad for the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt in 2009. He was in the squad for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

He joined Rangers in 2013 but returned home in January this year to sign for Olimpia, the most successful team in Honduras.





Sales of vinyls up 50%

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vinyls-make-comrback.jpgStreaming services are encouraging young music fans to go out and buy vinyl LPs, as they discover the joy of owning a physical copy of their favourite artist.

Research from the music industry suggests streaming music, on services such as Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music, has unexpectedly boosted sales of CDs and vinyl records.

Vinyl sales are up 50 per cent this year, with the industry expecting to sell more than two million by the end of the year.

Even Tesco now stock vinyl LPs after a successful trial selling an Iron Maiden record in the summer.

While CD sales are still falling, the rate of decline has slowed from 20 per cent in 2012 to six per cent in the first six months of this year. They should also receive a late-year boost with Adele's album '25' after she refused to allow it on streaming services.

It had previously been thought the ever-rising figure of recorded audio streams - which grew 78 per cent in 2014 - contributed to the decline of music being bought in tangible form.

But the BPI, the music trade body, and the Entertainment Retailers Association say two thirds of music fans are streaming music to decide if they like it before going out and purchasing their favourite albums.

They are also encouraged to buy an album in hard copy for the more authentic sound quality and the fact more money ends up in the artist's pocket.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI and BRIT Awards, said: 'The enduring appeal of CDs and vinyl has surprised many commentators who wrote them off years ago.

'But these physical formats still represent over 40% of UK music consumption, after decades of success.'

Kim Bayley, head of the Entertainment Retailers Association, added: 'This research suggests music fans are a great deal more nuanced in their approach to new forms of technology than they are sometimes given credit for.'





Half Pint, Sanchez to rock Famous December 19

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sanchez-photo-1.jpgIt has been a while since veteran reggae singers Sanchez and Half Pint performed on a major concert locally. However, both artistes are ready to sing the hits for their diehard fans on Saturday, December 19.

Billed as The Greatest Lovers Rock Night of the Year, both Sanchez and Half Pint will set the stage on fire at the Famous Nightclub in Portmore. The event is being promoted by music producer and promoter Richard 'Richie D' Martin.

Martin, who has carved out an impressive track record producing hits for a number of dancehall's biggest names, including Lady Saw, Bounty Killer, Tony Curtis, Hawkeye and Delly Ranx, among others, explained his reason for promoting the upcoming concert.

"I'm a fan of both artistes and I've always wanted to work with them. I think I am among many who love and respect the works of both these legends of reggae music," said Martin.

The world-renowned Stone Love Movement selector Geefus will provide musical memories from the 1980s to the 1990s prior to showtime.

Martin, who is based between Jamaica and Florida, has successfully promoted events, including the Chill party series in Jamaica and Miami, as well events at the Regency Bar & Lounge and Fiction Nightclub.

"This concert is one very personal to me. It is my first concert here in Jamaica. It will be a very up close and personal show, which I've always thought a headliner like Sanchez is perfect for. Ladies, especially, will enjoy the intimate setting." Martin confided.

Presold tickets cost $1500, while VIP is $3000. Ticket outlets include Usain Bolt's Tracks and Records in Marketplace, Fromage at Hillcrest Avenue, York Pharmacy in Half-Way Tree and Genus Pharmacy in Portmore.





Welcome to Jamrock Cruise ends with book donation

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The second staging of the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise made its first charitable donation to the Jamaica Library Service on Tuesday, December 8 during its final stop in Jamaica that day. The presentation which took place at the Ocho Rios Library in St. Ann saw Julian 'Juju' Marley making the presentation on behalf of Jamrock Productions, organizers of the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise.

Students from the Ocho Rios Preparatory and Ocho Rios Primary Schoosl along with officials from the Jamaica Library Service participated in the handover much to Mr. Marley's pleasure.

"I am happy for the response this initiative has received. These children are the key to our countries country's success and we hope others will help to encourage students in their learning activities. The cruise got an overwhelming support and it was a great joy to share this happiness and goodwill with the children", Julian Marley expressed.





'Dre Island Live' Saturday at Burlington Avenue

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